Katie Taylor [17(6)-0] admits she would be ‘very disappointed’ if she never fought in Ireland as a pro.
The undisputed lightweight world champion proved herself the undisputed star of Irish sport by being voted the countries most admired sports star for the fourth year running.
For some fans, it’s further proof she has sell out stadium potential and there were fresh calls for a massive homecoming.
It’s something Taylor would love. The Bray native has fought all of her professional bouts in the UK and America to date but she dreams of a big fight in Ireland.
“It’d be an absolute dream to fight back home in Ireland. It’d be very disappointing if I went through my whole professional career and didn’t have the chance to fight in a big stadium in Dublin,” Taylor said not long after picking up the RTE Sportsperson of the Year Award on Thursday.
“That’s the big, big dream for me. Please God that can happen soon.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn has sporadically discussed homecoming’s at different times over the last four years. The idea was postponed indefinitely at one stage but was raised again last week by the Matchroom boss.
Hearn mentioned Ireland as a potential venue for a proposed April clash with Nathasa Jonas. However, there are no concrete plans for a Dublin fight just yet.
There are plans for another big year for the trailblazer. At present, it looks like an Olympic re-run with Jonas is being planned for April before another big fight against the winner of Jessica McCaskill and Cecilia Braekhus undisputed rematch.
Taylor didn’t give away any details but confirmed she expects another year of note.
“I’m not too sure when my next fight is going to be, or when it’s going to be, or who it’s against right now. There’s no shortage of big fights. I’m ready for a big year.”
The Brian Peters managed International name was speaking after winning the RTE Sports Person of the Year, the first boxer to win it for a second time.
Reflecting on a 12 months that saw her defeat Delfine Persoon and Miriam Guttierez to retain her lightweight straps, the pound for pound #1 said:
“I think it has been one of my best years yet, thank God.
“I’m looking forward to an even bigger year this year. It was the same for everyone really – very, very challenging times. I was fortunate enough to have two big fights lined up.
“I just kept myself in the gym throughout the whole year really, working on my craft, and I came out on top.”
On her battles with Persoon and her Spanish mandatory challenger she added: “This was the fight I wanted from the get-go really. After the last fight I knew straight away I wanted a rematch.
“I wanted to put in a dominant performance just to prove the doubters wrong. I know the first decision people said it was controversial – I was looking forward to nailing that fight down. That’s exactly what I did.
“I’ve always wanted the big fights. You have to take risks in the sport to be great. That’s always what I wanted to do.
“Every time I step into the ring I’m 100% confident I’m going to come away with a great win. I want to leave a great legacy. In order to do that you have to take the big fights and you have to take risks.
“Guttierez was tough as nails. I have to give her credit. She hung in here and showed her toughness. I did everything I could to get her out early but it wasn’t to be. But it was another great performance and another great victory.”