Wednesday 22 October 2014

'Memory Man' Magee is like a grandad to me, says proud Katie

Published 07/09/2012 | 06:42

Bernard Dunne with his family and Katie Taylor

KATIE Taylor admitted last night that she doesn't watch replays of her own fights -- even her gold medal-winning bout at the London Olympics.

"Once it's over, it's over," she told the Irish Independent last night. "I might look back on it some time," she said of her incredible 10-8 win against Russia's Sofya Ochigava on August 9.

She made the revelation as the guest of honour at the launch of a new autobiography called 'Memory Man' by veteran RTE sportscaster Jimmy Magee at Dublin's Aviva Stadium last night.

Looking tanned and relaxed from a well-deserved rest following her Olympic triumph last month, she paid tribute to the iconic sports journalist who at 77 years of age, is the longest-serving sports commentator in the English-speaking world.

"I don't think you can mention Irish sport without mentioning Jimmy Magee," she said.

"He's a legend in Irish sport and for me personally, he's been such a great support to me over the years and to my family as well, even when women's boxing was unheard of the country, he was always there supporting me right from the start," she said.

She added that she personally regards him almost as a grandfatherly figure.

"He hates to see me get hit in the ring. Like my dad, he can't wait for me to retire," she added. And he in turn, lavished praise on Katie not only for her incredible talent and boxing career -- but her modesty and grace as well.

"Apart from winning the medals -- five Europeans and an Olympic gold -- it's her general behaviour," he said.

"When she won her semi-final I went backstage to see her and she came out and before I had a chance to say anything she said to me 'did I do okay?'" he said.

"No one has ever said something like that after a big victory and I said, 'you did better than that, you were fantastic,'" he recalled."And she said, 'that's lovely of you to say'," he added.

"Doesn't that tell you how unaffected she is by all of this?" he asked.

And Mr Magee, who has interviewed most of the world's top sports icons during his lengthy career -- including covering 11 Olympic games, 12 FIFA World Cups and 29 European Cup finals -- described Katie as one of the top athletes of her generation.

The book, meanwhile is available at booksellers nationwide and retails for €19.99.

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