IN THE END, the chance to become a double Olympic champion was something more precious than money for Katie Taylor.
Ireland’s gold medallist ended speculation about her boxing future today by confirming that she will continue to fight as an amateur, turning down the temptation of lucrative offers to join the professional circuit.
The decision means that Taylor will be eligible to defend her Olympic lightweight title in Rio in 2016. In the meantime, the 26-year-old will be a hot favourite to add to her dizzying career record which includes four World Championships and five European Championships.
“Boxing for my country, there’s nothing better than that really and bringing home medals for my country,” Taylor told the Ray D’Arcy Show on Today FM.
“I’m going to stay amateur and hopefully I’ll defend my title in Rio in four years time.”
Another of Ireland’s London heroes, Mullingar bantamweight John Joe Nevin announced earlier this month that he intends to turn professional in the new year.
Taylor’s camp also held similar discussions with promoters including Brian Peters and Golden Boy Promotions, the US stable run by ten-time world champion Oscar de la Hoya. The pro deals on the table would have netted her in the region of a six-figure sum, Taylor speculated this morning, but the Bray native’s heart remains in the amateur game.
“In amateur boxing you’re just entered into a competition and to be the best, you have to beat the best in these competitions. You’re not waiting around to get these fights organised.”
Last week, Taylor was named AIBA Female Boxer of the Year for a historic third time.