It took Katie Taylor years to earn the respect her achievements deserved across the World, but it takes just three minutes for those in American gyms to she is a special talent, according to the Bray woman’s new coach Ross Enamait.
Irish fight fanatics now hail the Bray star as one of Ireland’s greatest ever sports stars, never mind boxers, as she continued to break new ground and succeed on the World stage. Before London 2012 Taylor was a four-time Women’s World Boxing Champion and five-time European Champion, yet it took an Olympic gold medal win for her to cement her status as national icon.
Not quite the same level of widespread love, but it takes a lot less time for the Irish great to gain the ultimate respect of the boxing fraternity that witness her first hand Stateside. Just three minutes in fact, estimates her coach as after a round of sparring action she brings gyms to a standstill – and like at anytime she is in public in Ireland, she is inundated with picture requests when she exits the ring.
The Connecticut trainer, who himself could become a bit of an Irish hero via working with Taylor, admits he has to convince a lot of potential male sparring partners that the London 2012 Olympic champion is more than capable of sharing the ring with them, but stresses it doesn’t take too long for them to reach the same conclusion.
Speaking to Irish-Boxing,com ahead of Taylor’s professional debut against former Christina McMahon foe Karina Kopinska in London this evening, the coach explained how “we brought her to spar a couple of the pros and some of the female fighters, one a champion and one who recently fought for a belt and she started to see where she fit in with this girls. To me she is another level so she gets a better workout from the men if I am honest.”
“She has been sparring with professional men and women. We have a kid who has 18 pro fights and when I asked him to spar he was kind of laughing about it. I was like ‘I am telling you this girl can fight’ and it took just one round for him to realise that.”
“It’s like that in all the gyms we go to. It takes just one round and then they are on their phones looking up ‘Katie Taylor.’ You are almost begging them at first, trying to convince them Katie can fight the men. The first round they are laughing, second they are on their phone checking her out, and by the sixth the whole gym is standing around the ring watching Katie spar. After the spar they are looking for selfies. It is new in the sense she has to prove herself, but she is used to that.”
“I know she sparred with the men here too and we have had her spar females, but she gets better work with the men, she really is on another level than a lot of these girls.”