Friday 24 November 2017

Katie turns pro - but gets warned it'll be 'ruthless'

Katie Taylor could fight in the Aviva Stadium next summer
Katie Taylor could fight in the Aviva Stadium next summer

Alan O'Keeffe

Katie Taylor could potentially earn over a million euro following her move to professional boxing - but she has been warned she is entering a tough business.

Boxing legend Michael Carruth wished her well but said the pro game was "more ruthless" than the amateur ranks.

Katie's first professional bout will be in the SSE Arena in Wembley on November 26 and she will no longer wear a headguard. Her opponent has not yet been named.

Her business manager, Mark Devlin, told the Irish Independent she is "turning pro" because she loves a challenge, rather than doing it for the money.

Carruth, an Olympic gold medallist and former professional, said even if Katie earned half a million euro inside the ring over the next three years, she would have to share much of her earnings with others.

He said: "Professional boxing is a business and she will be paid to entertain the punters.

"It's more ruthless. This could be the kick in the a*** it needs. She's has a great legacy in Irish amateur boxing."

Taylor signed a professional contract with Matchroom Boxing, and promoter Eddie Hearn said the Bray boxer would make her debut live on Sky Sports. Two weeks later, Taylor will fight in Manchester on the undercard to heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

"When I first dreamt of Olympic gold, female boxing was practically unknown," said Taylor.

"Now because of my journey and the incredible supporters who came along with me, female boxing is as much part of the fabric of the Olympics as its male counterpart. Now I want to do the same for the professional sport and I hope those who have supported me along the way will come along with me. I'm excited for the road ahead," she said.

Eddie Hearn said: "She is one of the most decorated amateur boxers of all time and a public icon in Ireland.

"I was fascinated by her desire to not just win world titles but to break down the barriers of women's boxing...Boxing is a sport open to all but it's also an entertainment business.

"Anyone who has watched Katie fight knows how exciting she is."

Taylor has won an Olympic gold, five world titles and six European crowns.

However, since her father Pete left her corner, Taylor's form has slumped, losing three times in 2016 having previously remained undefeated since 2005.

Mark Devlin, of Devlin Sports Management, told the Irish Independent he would not be able to speculate about her future earnings as the future is a "blank canvas".

"The world is her oyster. She will set the standard. She's not doing it for the money.

"She's doing it because she loves a challenge," he said.

"Katie Taylor is going to be global."

In the 12 months ending in June, her last year as an amateur, Katie's firm earned €1.2m outside the ring.

National icon with gold galore

Katie Taylor has become a national sporting icon through her exploits in the ring.

The 30-year-old from Bray, Co Wicklow has claimed an Olympic gold, five world titles and six European crowns in her career.

She made Irish boxing history when she fought the first sanctioned women's bout in 2001 at the age of 15.

The highlight of her career came when she won gold at the London Olympics.

The 60kg fighter was widely regarded as the best pound for pound female fighter in the world for years.

However, she suffered a shock defeat in the Rio Olympics, losing her crown.

Irish Independent

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