Tuesday 20 March 2018

Boxing: 'I hope she quits after Olympics,' says Katie Taylor's dad

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

PETER TAYLOR wants his daughter Katie to retire after the London Olympics.

The coach and father of Ireland's great gold medal hope made the revelation yesterday after Ireland's boxing team for London were paraded before the cameras.

With London being the first Olympics to stage women's boxing, Taylor (26) will achieve her life-long goal of representing Ireland next month and is favourite in most neutrals' eyes to win gold in the 60kg class.

Whether she achieves that or not, her father believes it will be time to step away from the sport.

"I'd like to see her, whatever happens, retire," Taylor said. "It is hard. She's sparring with the lads every week and she has no kind of life outside boxing.

"That's what I'd like to see, what Katie would like to do might be different and whatever she wants to do, we'll back her 100pc. She'll have 100pc family backing.

"It is so physical, it is difficult what she's doing. You don't play boxing. You play football, you play tennis. Boxing is a little bit different. There's a lot of punishment over the years and maybe I want to retire because it's stressful for me."

Taylor's potential retirement from boxing could open the door for her to return to her other love, football. An Ireland international, the Bray native has had to put her playing career on hold in pursuit of her Olympic dream, but her father explained that she has missed the 11-a-side game.

"She'd love to play soccer again, she hasn't played football for three or four years I think," he said. "It was one of the sacrifices she had to make for the Olympics because there was too much risk of injury."

First, though, Taylor will carry the weight of a nation's expectation into the Olympics, where Peter believes she has the ability to succeed.

"It is once in a lifetime, but you've also got to put in a performance and it's about a balance," he said. "It's just another boxing match when she gets into the ring. If she performs how she can perform, it will be difficult to beat Katie on the day."

Irish Independent

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