Sunday 24 March 2019

Katie had the heart of a champion even as a child

Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Even at a tender age Katie Taylor was displaying the killer instinct of a champion.

"I'm going to go all the way to the very top," the star shouts with the confidence of a champion.

But it wasn't the fighter celebrating Monday's Olympic victory over Natasha Jonas -- it was an 11-year-old Katie stating her intentions.

The interview was recorded by RTE 15 years ago in Bray Boxing Club in Wicklow. And in it the budding pugilist reveals how she became interested in the sport.

"I was watching my dad and my brothers box and I thought I'd like to have a go of it," she explains.

The young champion tells how she got her first pair of boxing gloves as a Christmas present. And she says she likes to box to keep fit and because all her friends like watching her.

At the time, women's boxing was almost nonexistent, but the young fighter was determined not to let that stop her.

"I was sparring a boy and I hit him in the nose and he fell. There was blood coming out of his nose," she tells the interviewer.

Asked if she was afraid of being hurt in the ring, she displays the bravery that has been a mark of her success. "No", she says, "because I never do get hurt".

The boxer, whose father, Peter, is also her coach, will fight Mavzuna Chorieva, from Tajikistan, in the women's lightweight semi-final today.

Irish Independent

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