By Jonny Stapleton
Katie Taylor has refuted claims she is all but guaranteed gold in next years Olympics.
The three time world champion collected her fifth successive European gold medal last week and has been installed as clear favourite to be decorated further in London next year.
Indeed former world champion and respected boxing pundit Barry McGuigan not only told Mirror Sport last week the Bray native was one of Ireland’s best boxers of all time, but claimed he would be ‘shocked’ if she didn’t top the podium a London 2012 podium.
However, one of Ireland’s most decorated sports stars and the woman deemed the best female amateur boxer on the planet claims it is not as simple as her results suggests.
Despite her world dominance Taylor hasn’t become over confident and doesn’t even think qualification is a fore gone conclusion.
The former Irish football international does admit her winning ways bring pressure and stressed every win is just the next positive step toward the Holy Grail that is the Olympics.
“There is always huge pressure when I get into the ring now. All of these tournaments are just a stepping stone to the Olympics and next year. People look at the results and think it will be real easy for me, but thats far from the truth. I know it will be very challenging. All I can do is my best. I will have to be at my very best to qualify. Qualification comes down to one tournament and I know I will have to be at my best then,” Taylor said on last Friday’s Late Late Show.
One of the main threats to what of would one of the most deserved Olympic Gold medals is fellow lightweight Sofya Ochigava.
The Russian is a former super bantamweight world champion, who holds a win over Taylor. However the Irish star got revenge last week and if the form book is anything to go by might have to defeat her again if she wants to win in London next year.
“I was disappointed in my performance the first time we meet and it was great to beat her. It was great to get the win over her in such an important fight. She is world class boxer and everytime I box against her I know its going to be a tough fight.”