It still hurts.
Five years later and Katie Taylor [18(6)-0] still gets upset thinking back on her Rio exit.
The then reigning Olympic champion was beaten in her opening fight of her Olympic title defence by Finn Mira Potkonen. The split decision decided by a judge’s preference pick ended the Bray fighters back to back Olympic gold dreams.
It’s a fight and possibly more so a period of time the Irish sporting great gets emotional reflecting on.
Pushed on that moment five years ago, during the build-up to her world title defence against American Jennifer Han, which plays out in Leeds and live on DAZN this weekend, the undisputed lightweight champion of the world had to fight back the tears.
The thoughts of Rio, an infamously disastrous Olympics for Ireland, still upset the now professional trailblazer. It’s not that the ultra-competitive Taylor can’t accept defeat it appears, as covered in the brilliant KATIE, that was just a difficult time in her life – and early Olympic exit didn’t help.
Watch below as she discusses the moment the Fin was declared victorious when speaking to DAZN’s Off The Cuff:
Considering the noise made surrounding Michael Conlan’s exit a lot of people forget there was actually controversy surrounding the Rio defeats of Joe Ward and indeed Taylor.
Zaur Antia was very upset at the time stating:
“She [Taylor] did not lose fight, that’s it.”
The Georgian technical wizard admitted that the bout was a close one, but felt that the Bray woman deserved the nod, and reasoned that “she can’t kill that girl she is a good boxer, a tough fighter.”
“Every fight will be very close, but you have to take what you deserve.”
“She won the fight, first-round she won, the second round was very close, could go both ways, Katie wasn’t great, but third and forth rounds she won the fight.”
“She had good skills, sidesteps, great punches. What else can she do? Nobody can convince me that this fight Katie lost.”
“Then I would say I have no experience and I don’t know boxing. When it is a close fight I say it is… this wasn’t close. The second round yes, was close.”
Taylor was magnanimous in rare defeat saying at the time: “I thought I had the fight won, but it was a close fight, and congratulations to her,” said Taylor. “But I should be really beating those girls.”
Fiver years on and Taylor has changed the pro ranks. The groundbreaking sports star is now an undisputed champion of the world and defends her titles in Leeds against former featherweight world champion Han on Saturday.