Katie Taylor has found her “spark” again and is planning debut KO

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Katie Taylor admits that she fell out of love with boxing these past few years, but now feels that since linking up with pro coach Ross Enamait that she has refound her hunger.

The nineteen-time major medal winner endured a tough 2016, sensationally losing thrice, including being eliminated from the Olympics in her first fight.

Following the shock loss to Mira Potkonen in Rio, the Bray fighter re-evaluated her career and decided to relocate to America with Enamait and turn pro under Matchroom Boxing. Tipped to win World titles quickly, Taylor’s journey begins next Saturday at the Wembley Arena in London, live on Sky Sports, where she will face Poland’s Karina Kopinska.

Speaking on RTÉ1’s ‘The Late Late Show,’ Taylor described how the loss in Rio acted as the final push into the pro game following a long period of consideration.

Explaining her reasoning for going pro, Taylor outlined how “it would have been a lot safer for me to stay amateur over next four years – but I wanted to follow my heart, I was more passionate about the pro game. It excited me a lot more than the amateur game and I think if you’re worried about all the risks, you’d never get up in the morning. You have to take risks to achieve greatness.”

“I think I fell out of love with the sport over the last few years. I found it hard to motivate myself really. I needed a new goal, a new challenge and this is it, being out in the States these last few months is the first time in a long time I’ve really enjoyed my training and it really got that spark back in me. It’s definitely the right time to turn pro. I’d been amateur for so long and at the top of the sport for so long. This is such an exciting time for me.”

On her new pro coach, the Wicklow star admitted that “I definitely knew I needed a change. I needed the contact with Ross over in America and I was familiar with his work over the last few years and he was obviously such a well-renowned coach. The more I spent time with him, the more I got an appetite for the pro game. I do believe that the best is yet to come, that greatness lies ahead, and that we’re the dream team.”

Taylor is well aware of the the need to entertain in the world of professional boxing and she is aiming for a knockout start next weekend against Kopinska. The 30 year old, who will debut at super featherweight, explained how “the professional game is definitely a bit more ruthless. The people watching professional boxing do love to see knockouts and they like to see blood. I definitely will have to be a lot more ruthless.”

“I preparing for six rounds, but hopefully it will be a first round knockout, that would be fantastic.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie