Thursday 22 August 2019

'Best is yet to come' - Taylor tells Bray she's ready for more

People’s champ: Katie Taylor with all her belts on stage in front of crowds at her Bray homecoming celebrations. Photos: Caroline Quinn
People’s champ: Katie Taylor with all her belts on stage in front of crowds at her Bray homecoming celebrations. Photos: Caroline Quinn
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

Undisputed boxing champion Katie Taylor has told her hometown "the best is yet to come".

She proudly displayed her five lightweight titles at a homecoming in Bray.

Taylor, who last week claimed her fifth world title, told the large crowd that she is already looking forward to her rematch with Delfine Persoon.

Hundreds of people gathered along the promenade in Bray yesterday evening to welcome home the 32-year-old undisputed champion after she spent six months preparing for the bout in the US.

Fans young and old, many holding Tricolours and some aspiring fighters even wearing boxing gloves, cheered on the local fighter as she arrived shortly after 7pm.

Gardaí escorted a bus carrying Taylor, her mother Bridget, manager Brian Peters and family members to the event where the world titles were displayed to the crowd.

Taking to the stage, Taylor acknowledged the support she has received from Ireland and in particular the local community in Bray throughout her career, including her successes and defeats.

"This is just incredible to see all the people here... even during the low points like the Rio Olympics, the support I got here was incredible.

"The fight on Saturday was business as usual for me, it was a very close fight but I'm looking forward to a rematch as well," she said to a massive cheer from the crowd.

That may have to wait though, as next up will be seven-belt world champion Amanda Serrano later this year.

Asked by Des Cahill, who acted as MC, if she was sore after last weekend's bout, Taylor was quick as a flash saying: "Delfine Persoon was a lot sorer than me so... it was a very tough fight.

"I've plenty of years left in me and the best is yet to come," she added.

Her manager Brian Peters proudly declared that Taylor is "the greatest sport person" Ireland has ever had.

"Katie is always breaking boundaries and always creating history. In one of the greatest heavyweight upsets (Joshua v Ruiz) in boxing history, Katie steals the show again. She's inspiring... she's improved my punctuality, she's improved my bad language," Peters joked.

It has been almost seven years since the scenic Bray town was the stage for Katie Taylor's triumphant Olympic homecoming.

The then 26-year-old had just won gold at the 2012 London Olympics and a crowd of over 20,000 were on hand to welcome her home.

"The last time we were here the sun was shining, and we welcomed home an Olympic champion. Now we're welcoming home an undisputed champion," Des Cahill said.

Irish Independent

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