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Saturday 2 August 2014

Katie Taylor eyes pro career as promoters start talks

Fiach Kelly

Published 16/08/2012|05:00

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Katie Taylor joined fellow boxers Michael Conlan, John Joe Nevin, and Paddy Barnes to pose with Enda Kenny

KATIE Taylor will hold talks with American and British boxing promoters today, as she weighs up whether to turn professional or stay amateur and aim for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

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Her father and coach, Peter Taylor, revealed his family would think about Katie's options while on a 10-day holiday from Monday.

Mr Taylor was speaking at a special reception for Ireland's Olympic athletes hosted by Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park yesterday evening.

Mr Taylor repeated his hope that Katie would retire from boxing, but his daughter has already said she has no intention of hanging up her gloves.

But he said Katie had achieved everything she could in amateur boxing, and could pursue new challenges on the professional circuit.

"Obviously we'd love to carry on boxing amateur," Mr Taylor said. "We love amateur boxing. Professional boxing will have new challenges as well so there's a lot of things to consider now. It's not about money. It's about challenges at the moment.

"We have talks tomorrow; we'll see where that leads to," Mr Taylor said. "There's nothing concrete yet."

Mr Taylor also said proper funding for sport is needed.

Money

"If you can't train full time, you're never going to be able to compete. You need money to be able to sustain an athlete's lifestyle.

"It is a little bit about money as well. That's why we're talking to the professional promoters as well. We'd love to stay for Rio de Janeiro, that would obviously be the preference."

But Mr Kenny said getting the best performances isn't all about money.

"I see in the time ahead (the) usual calls that we need another €50m or €100m. It's not all about money. What we've got to do is recognise, and put in place, a strategy that will identify potential in our schools at an early time."

Mr Kenny said the Olympics were "a very special occasion in the sporting life of our country".

"Thank you for giving us the precious moments of the past few weeks," he said.

He gave "special congratulations" to the medallists, but added: "That is not in any way to take from the team performance of every person, man and woman, who pulled on the green singlet of Ireland in London."

Mr Kenny also said the London games marked a further maturing of the relationship between Ireland and Britain.

He said the last few years have seen the singing of 'God Save the Queen' at a rugby game in Croke Park, the historic visit of Queen Elizabeth -- and now Irish fans cheering on British athletes, and British fans supporting the Irish.

Irish Independent

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