No extra pressure for Katie Taylor ahead of crucial pro debut

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From the outside, there is a lot of pressure on Katie Taylor going into her professional debut versus Karina Kopinska on Saturday in London.

Not only is there the need to win, Matchroom’s Taylor must look exciting while also being technically impressive if she is to begin breaking down barriers and normalise women’s boxing. As Saturday is Taylor’s first bout, a lot of snap decisions will be made, and there is a risk that many will be near-irretrievably lost should things not go to plan.

Therefore it would be understandable if the Wicklow woman was feeling the heat, and a new kind of pressure going into the fight which will feature prominently on the Big City Dreams card at the Wembley Arena and live on Sky Sports.

However, Taylor claims it is more of the same following an amateur career where she was soon expected to bring home gold at every tournament – eventually finishing her time in the headguard with eighteen major gold medals.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Dublin City Hall, Taylor explained that “I don’t feel any more under pressure now than I have done throughout my whole amateur career really. I think at every big competition there’s been a lot of pressure on me to go in and perform and come back with a medal. It’s no different really as a pro, my focus is the same as well. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.”

“It’s a new goal definitely, a new challenge, but my approach is very much the same. I always entered every competition leaving no stone unturned and I was obviously very very dedicated and disciplined throughout my whole amateur career, that’s not going to change.”

The Bray super featherweight does acknowledge however that she will be boxing in front of a much different audience than what she is used to, and that she will adjust her approach accordingly. Taylor described how “the people who come to watch amateur shows are just boxing purists, but the people who come to see these professional shows are there to see knockouts, they’re there to be entertained.”

“It is my pro debut, it is a huge fight for me, and I just want to go in and showcase everything now on Saturday night.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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