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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Boxing: Pete Taylor at breaking point over contract with Irish boxing

Coach’s future up in air as Katie confirms February return to ring

Published 19/12/2012 | 05:00

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The man who guided Katie Taylor to Olympic gold remains in the dark about his future within Irish amateur boxing.

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On the day his daughter confirmed her return to the ring, Pete Taylor's patience was thought to be close to breaking point with the Irish Amateur Boxing Association as the delay over his new coaching contract continued to drag on inexplicably.

Taylor himself remained tight-lipped on the issue at the announcement that Katie will box an as yet unnamed opponent at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre on February 24, her first bout since London 2012.

But the IABA, pointedly, did not have a representative at the press conference, detailing a Brian Peters promotion that will have the Olympic champion topping an all-amateur bill in the new state-of-the-art arena on Dublin's southside.

Billy Walsh, Zaur Antia and Pete Taylor all had coaching offers from abroad in the immediate aftermath of this year's Games, at which they guided a six-strong team to four medals. But there has yet to be official confirmation of a new deal for any of boxing's High Performance coaches.

Walsh expressed optimism last week that positive news was imminent, but the Irish Independent understands that negotiations have been with the coaches individually rather than the three as a group.

Katie Taylor has won four World titles and five Europeans as well as that Olympic gold with Pete in her corner and has often spoken of how she considers his tactical and emotional support to have been utterly pivotal to her success.

The IABA have, it is understood, intimated a desire to see Pete Taylor head up the entire coaching programme for women's boxing in Ireland, but, as Katie's training and sparring is done almost exclusively with men, this would essentially mean separating father from daughter in their day-to-day schedules. This would, clearly, be unacceptable to both.

With the likes of Sofya Ochigava and Natasha Jonas unwilling to box Katie so close to next year's European Championships, it is thought likely that she may have to go up a weight division to 64 kilos to secure a world top-10 ranked opponent for her February return.

Having turned down numerous offers to join the professional ranks, Taylor said she now "can't wait" to get back in the ring as an amateur.

"It's going to be like the ExCel Arena all over again I think" she said.

Irish Independent

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