Katie Taylor [20(6)-0] has explained how much a phone call from her ‘idol,’ Roy Keane, at her lowest point meant to her.
Moments after posing for photos at the top of one of the tallest buildings in the world, the Empire State Building, the undisputed lightweight world champion revealed how grateful she was to receive a call from the former Ireland captain at the lowest point in her career.
While the Bray fighter is currently on top of the world both figuratively and literally, post-Rio 2016 she was quite down.
Indeed, she has highlighted that period as the worst in her career and still laments a medal she feels got away.
The defeat to Finnish boxer Mira Potkonen was controversial and although she didn’t cry foul, the reverse hurt for some time after. During that time she did receive a pick me up from a fellow Irish sporting legend.
One of Ireland’s greatest ever footballers was the first to call and offer his support. Taylor previously noted how a call from Roy Keane made ‘her heart so happy’ and reveals the man known for his abrasive approach and a glare that could rattle the knees of a charging Rhino has a “great heart”.
Speaking again about the call in the lead up to this weekend’s mega Madison Square Garden bill topping four belt world title fight against Amanda Serrano, Taylor told Sports Joe: “I mean to get a phone call from my absolute idol, my hero, in my lowest moment meant so much to me, I have to say.
“He was just so encouraging towards me. I was obviously saying how disappointed and heartbroken I was about the loss at that time, just about my performance in general.
“But he was nothing but supportive, nothing but encouraging and just to hear those words from him during my lowest point was… He didn’t have to do that really.
“That was just amazing of him to even think of me during that time and to pick up the phone to me. I’m sure he has a lot on his plate, but the fact he actually took time to actually give me a call meant so much.”
Keane holds Taylor in similarly high regard and has often revealed how much he respects her. However, the Cork man is the Bray fighter’s favourite athlete of all time.
“My favourite athlete of all time would’ve been Roy Keane, genuinely. I looked up to him so much growing up, just his winning mentality,” Taylor said.
“He was a no-nonsense player, a no-nonsense man and never settled for second best, he just had a winning mentality.
“That’s the sort of player I wanted to be on the pitch, and that’s the sort of mentality I want to have as an athlete.
“I just love his no-nonsense approach.”