From boxing to babysitting, champion Katie's knocked out by her new niece
WORLD champion Katie Taylor plans to take a rest from boxing over the next week, by doing a little babysitting.
The Olympics gold-medal hopeful arrived in Dublin yesterday to be greeted by her five-day-old niece -- and her mother Bridget's first grandchild -- Madeleine Hope-Taylor, who was born while her famous aunt was in China winning her fourth world title.
Madeleine's mother Sarah Taylor, who is Katie's older sister, was also at the airport to meet the champion yesterday.
But she has time to rest on her laurels. After a short break, it's back to training because there's less than 70 days to the Olympics and the chance of a gold medal.
"I've a new niece I haven't seen and I can't wait to hold her, she's gorgeous," she said at Dublin Airport yesterday. "I've a week off now and I'll spend it with family and friends.
"It's a dream come true to qualify, I'm delighted everything went so well and I'll have a chance to win the gold medal. It's been the best couple of weeks of my career. The standard has always been brilliant, there's always one or two girls at the top, there's no easy fights and I have to keep improving. It gets harder and harder."
Hundreds of fans turned out at Dublin Airport yesterday evening to greet the world champion who appeared fresh-faced despite a long-haul flight from the far east.
Beating Russian Sofya Ochigava in China means the Bray lightweight will go in as number-one seed in the lightweight division in summer's London Olympics, putting her straight through to the quarter-finals.
She also won the best boxer award at the 2012 Women's World Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao, presented by judges to the best athlete across all 10 weight divisions.
The 25-year-old qualified for the London games last week, but said that most people believed she had earned her place months ago. She'll be ready to meet the world's best in July and August.
"I felt the weight of expectation coming into these championships.
"People kept wishing me good luck at the Olympics and I was sick of telling people I hadn't qualified. Every fight is a big pressure situation and I'll go into this (Olympics) well prepared," she said.
"Women's boxing is flourishing and there's so many Irish boxers who are great, some are going to be superstars. I'm going to try to be the best role model I can, and I'm blessed to have the best coaches in the world."
She has no plans for after the summer games, but said she would like the chance to win a fifth world title.
"My dad wants me to retire (after the Olympics). It would be great to retain my title but we'll see how it goes," she said.
"Hopefully I'll get a million dollar deal, but I have no idea. I don't know much about the professional game. I think I'm making more money than professionals so I'm focusing on that now."