Olympics: Taylor allays fears she's to turn pro ahead of Olympics
BOXING: Fears that amateur boxing's golden girl Katie Taylor would turn pro before the 2012 Olympics were allayed yesterday when she accepted her Irish Sports Council grant (€40,000) for 2010, WRITES CLIONA FOLEY.
But the issue of Ireland's poster girl for the London Games being allowed to box on pro-am cards has not gone away.
Her coach and father Pete Taylor confirmed yesterday that she did seriously contemplate abandoning the amateur game because of their frustration that the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) would not allow her to box in a big pro-am in the O2 Arena last weekend.
"We're still not happy with the decision," said Pete, stressing that their primary reason for wanting to get on big home pro-am cards is to help in preparing her psychologically for the Olympics.
"She wasn't getting any money for it; it was simply a question of allowing Katie to compete in front of a big home crowd who don't usually see her boxing.
"Boxing in front of crowds like this is exactly the sort of mental pressure that Katie is going to face in the Olympics; it's the nearest thing she can get to it.
"I can only train her physically, but preparing her mentally is just as important and the more fights like that she can get the better.
"Katie loves amateur boxing and so do I; we don't really want professional boxing. But she wanted to box, it fitted into her programme and this issue will come up again."
Taylor is expected to box at the Irish Senior Championships on March 6 and three days later will compete in a multi-nations event in the Czech Republic.