Saturday 23 February 2019

Katie Taylor reveals why she can't bring herself to watch her own documentary

Katie Taylor talks candidly about her life and career in Ross Whitaker’s film
Katie Taylor talks candidly about her life and career in Ross Whitaker’s film
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Katie Taylor has admitted she cannot watch her own documentary, after conceding she will never be comfortable seeing herself on a big screen.

Despite her stunning success as an amateur boxer that included a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and stunning success since turning professional in 2016, Taylor has told Independent.ie that she will always shy away from seeking attention in the media.

Former UFC champion Conor McGregor and a host of high profile boxers have used their media persona to hype their careers, but Taylor has said that she will always shy away from the spotlight.

"I don't like seeing myself on big screen and that's why I haven't been able to look at this documentary," Taylor told us, as she spoke about the documentary Katie, made in association with acclaimed film maker Ross Whittaker.

"I've always hated looking at myself on TV and I actually don't like looking back on things in my past. I'm the type of person that wants to look forward and not think about what has gone, my past achievements. That is the way I have always been.

"I love the boxing, that has always been the case thought my career, but everything else that goes with it has been tough for me at times and that's why I haven't watched this documentary. My family have watched it and said they enjoyed it and are proud of it. That's all that matters to me.

"Maybe when I retire from the sport in a few years time, I will have a chance to reflect on what I did, but we are still in the middle of it and I don't feel like this is the moment for reflection.

"When I retire from boxing, maybe then I will look at this documentary, but it is not something I can do right now."

Taylor has been centre stage at a host of high profile pre-fight press conferences in the UK and America since she turned professional, but it appears the pressure of the cameras is still more daunting than any opponent in the ring.

"I've done a lot of these big press events now, with hundreds of people there and all the cameras and I still don't feel comfortable," she continues. "I am far happier in a ring and maybe that will always be the case

"My manager told me a when I did my first press conference for my pro debut that I would get to the stage where I started to enjoy these things, but I haven't got there yet. It is a bit of a hassle for me, but I know it's all part of the job.

"If there was a way of being a boxer and doing what I do without all the cameras and the press conferences, then I would love that, but I realise it is part of the job and I have to get on with it.

"You don't have to say controversial things to enjoy a successful career in boxing. I look at someone like Manny Pacquiao and he is one of the most beloved fighters of all-time, but he has never said anything too contentious in press conferences or in interviews.

"Anthony Joshua is another perfect example of someone who is a great ambassador for his sport without needing to say anything to upset people. Gennady Golovkin is another one who is a gentleman outside the ring, but an absolute killer in the ring. It can be done."

Despite being a icon of Irish sport for more than a decade, Taylor has managed to keep aspects of her private life under wraps and she insists that veil of secrecy will never be lifted.

"I have not found it too difficult to keep my life the way I want it," she continues. "There are certain things I don't talk about in public and it has not been too difficult to keep those issues away from the public eye.

"Even if you are successful in sport, you can live a quiet simple life and I have managed to do that. I don't give away too much in interviews and maybe that's the reason why people have enjoyed this documentary is we gave the director Ross Whittaker access no-one has had before.

"I developed a trust with Ross meant he had access to me people haven't seen before. That is why this documentary came out so honest and so raw.

"Ross became a part of the small family we have around us and he know more about me that we know ourselves."

Katie will air on RTÉ One next Tuesday (15 January) at 10.15pm and is available to stream on various video-on-demand platforms now.

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