independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Katie to defend her title

WICKLOW'S Olympic hero Katie Taylor will be concentrating on bringing more gold home to the Garden County when she competes in Rio 2016 as an amateur boxer.

The news of her decision, after months of speculation, broke last week after she gave an interview on radio where she said she had been offered a multitude of professional contracts since her glorious adventure in London.

"I'm not too sure, I've been offered a few contracts, hundreds of thousands," she said on Today FM radio. Oscar De La Hoya, the 10-times world professional champion and the smiling face of Golden Boy Promotions, was one name mentioned in the aftermath of her gold medal win at London 2012. Key to her decision to stay amateur has also emerged. Ka t ie looks set

to be offered the ambassadorial role with the International Boxing Association to promote women's boxing worldwide, which carries with it a pay packet of about €10,000, with expenses on top.

It is understood that a four-year funding agreement with the Sports Council and the Irish Amateur Boxing Association was a key element in finalising her decision.

And thankfully for boxing fans here and beyond the Olympic lightweight champion has decided to remain an amateur and box for her country and to defend her Olympic title in 2016. Before that the 26-year-old is really looking forward to the European Championships in a venue to be decided and following that the World Championships in Canada in 2014.

"In amateur boxing you're just entered into a competition," she said.

"To be the best, you have to beat the best in these competitions and there's no waiting around to get the fights organised. To win an amateur world title is a lot harder than winning a professional world title.

"Boxing for my country, there's nothing better than that really and bringing home medals for my country," she said. "I'm going to stay amateur and hopefully I'll defend my title in Rio in four years time."

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