World title win sees Katie Taylor rebound from her “lowest point”


Just over 14 months ago Katie Taylor stood dejected in the media area of Pavilion 6 in the Riocentro venue.

The Bray lightweight fought back tears as she was interviewed by RTÉ’s Joe Stack mere minutes after her shock Olympic quarter final loss to Finland’s Mira Potkonen.

In truth, while the result was a surprise, in hindsight it should have been seen coming. Taylor had not been herself for much of 2017, losing thrice to Yana Alekseevna, Estelle Mossely, and finally, and most painfully, Potkonen.

“I should be beating these girls,” lamented a stricken Taylor.

If there was one word to sum the Wicklow woman up it would have been ‘flat.’

Taylor needed a fresh start, a new challenge, and she certainly undertook this.

Not one for half-measures, the amateur legend dived into the professional game aged 30 and relocated to the East Coast of America with new trainer Ross Enamait.

Now, just 11 months on from her pro debut, Taylor stands as a professional world champion having dominated Anahi Esther Sanchez in Cardiff to win the WBA lightweight title.

This morning, as she came through Dublin Airport, Taylor was reunited with Joe Stack for an altogether more positive interview.

“This time last year I was definitely at the lowest point of my career,” she recalled. “But I knew that it wasn’t over for me. I knew that wasn’t the end, I knew that the best was still to come.”

“I just had to stay determined and not give up and that’s exactly what I did. I made the decision to go pro, to go out to Connecticut to my new trainer Ross and it’s been the best decision I ever made.”

“This is something I worked for my whole life, and since I turned pro 11 months ago my dream was to bring that belt home, so it’s an absolute dream to have it.”

Analysing the clash, her hardest yet in the pro game, a bruised but beaming Taylor described how “it was a tough, tough fight, I don’t think I’ve ever got hit as much in all my life. My face is bruised and terrible, actually, but that is professional boxing.”

“I definitely expected a tough ten round battle going into that fight. I prepared for that and I was just delighted to come away with the win in the end. She had a lot of heart, that’s for sure, she was so tough and durable.

“I caught her with a couple of nice right hands as well and she kept coming and coming, thankfully I was prepared and ready for that tough ten-round battle last night.”

“I had plenty of rounds under my belt in sparring over the last ten or 11 weeks in camp and I definitely needed that for this fight.”

While the comeback is more than complete, the story is not over for Taylor, and the hungry fighter is looking to build on her maiden pro world title

Taylor outlined how “that was always in the pipeline, a good homecoming in Dublin sometime. I think Eddie [Hearn, promoter] has spoken about that as well. So sometime next year I’ll definitely be fighting here at home, I can’t wait for it.”

“I think that fight last night will open up plenty of doors for me in the future.”

“The dream would be, obviously, to unify the belts. There are a lot of great champions out there, a lot of great fighters in and around my weight and there’s going to be, potentially, super fights in the future. This fight has definitely opened up a lot of doors and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

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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