independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

'Frustrated' Katie Taylor could turn pro after hitting out at boxing chiefs

Katie Taylor with fellow sports stars Michael McKillop (left), Michael Conlan and Alan Quinlan at the launch of the Sky Sports 'Living For Sport' programme in Dublin

OLYMPIC gold medal winning boxer Katie Taylor has revealed that she is "flirting" with turning professional as she feels she is not being promoted enough by the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.

"This year has been a terrible year for me," said Taylor.

Her only competitive outing so far this year was at the European Union Amateur Boxing Championships in July, where she took gold for the fifth year running.

However, she said the competition was "disappointing" after her experience at the Olympics the year before.

She explained: "With the EU championships, it was just a fight in a little tent in front of 100 people; it was really badly organised.

"For an Olympic medallist to be fighting in front of that kind of crowd, it was just disappointing. It looked like women's boxing was taking a step backwards."

Taylor said the IABA was a "hard organisation to work with at times" and that she was growing frustrated.

"I'd love to have a chance to fight in the World Series Boxing for women, but nothing has been done about that.

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"This should have been the year when the WSB was set up and we capitialised on what happened last year. It will be hard to get the motivation if this WSB doesn't go ahead. I feel a bit frustrated stepping backwards, instead of pushing on from last year."

Taylor said it would be a "big decision" to turn pro but she was considering it after too many "failed promises" by the IABA.

The boxer was speaking at the launch of Sky Sports' 'Living For Sport' programme in Ireland, in which she, along with 11 other Irish sports stars, will visit secondary schools to encourage participation in sport.

Taylor said many boxers were struggling to organise sponsorship through the IABA, including two-time Olympic medal winner Paddy Barnes.

She thought that all amateur boxers felt similarly about how the sport is being marketed in the country.

"Looking out into a stadium and seeing only a handful of people there, it's obvious people don't really know that these fights are going on," she said.

The IABA was contacted for comment, but had not responded by time of print.

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