Taylor welcomes normality of back to work


BOXING:Pete Taylor talks crazy talk. It has been the life, the planes, the recognition, the attention, the goodwill of most people. It has been the taking as much as the giving. It has been four months of adjustment not just for Katie but for her father and coach, her family.

In August a revolution took place in the life of the woman from the Oldcourt Estate in Bray, one of the few places along with the gym on the seafront where the sound of the door closing behind brings a welcome normality.

These days Pete and Katie drive down the mile or so to the harbour, lock the steel door of Bray Boxing Club and wallow in the mundane, cherish the commonplace, celebrate the unadorned routines of a boxer life. Sparring partners. They punch the life out of each other and love the buzz.

The glamorous life, yes they love it but they know it is actually no life at all and certainly not the boxer’s life, her boxer’s life. “It’s mad that a girl has opened people’s eyes to boxing,” says Pete.

“It was just a working class sport. Now everybody is interested in amateur boxing and it’s taken a female to do that. It’s been crazy.

Well known

“I can’t believe the reception we’re getting wherever we go. We just came back from the BBC awards and even coming through the airport was amazing.

“Even over in England now Katie is so well known. It’s hard for Katie to walk down the street now. It’s difficult for her now. On RTÉ they told me that our lives were going to change, but I didn’t think it would change that much.

“It’s been hard for both of us and I think that’s where nothing’s changed. We go to the gym and lock the door and nothing’s changed there. The members in the club are just the same and it’s the normality in her life that we’ve kept.”

The fight in the Bord Gáis Theatre on February 24th, her first since London, will enforce a more iron willed conversion back to the bags and spars when Christmas is over.

New beginning

Katie has not been training her standard twice a day but there has been no harm in allowing a body to regenerate.

The fight in February is a new beginning and the whirl of celebrity, sustained and now part of life’s gift for winning the gold medal, has not dimmed her lust for more.

“It’s going to get harder over the next few years and that’s why I just have to keep my career moving all the time and keep working hard in the gym,” she says. “It is my job to stay one step ahead of everyone else. The plan is to defend all my titles over the next few years and my Olympic title in four years’ time.”

“No, it hasn’t changed at all,” says Pete about Katie’s abject surrender to a harsh physical regime.

“No, she kind of gets annoyed if she misses a session because of a press conference or any awards because she knows this is the most important time for a fighter to be training.

“You heard her there, she wants to fight anybody and she loves being in the ring, to tell you the truth.

“It’s not easy and all these girls are getting stronger as well, and obviously Katie is getting stronger. I’m lucky enough that she’s coming out winning all the time. I wouldn’t like to be on the other end.”

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