'My Dad has always been a hero to me': Katie Taylor praises former coach during CNN special

'My Dad has always been a hero to me': Katie Taylor praises former coach during CNN special

Unified lightweight champion Katie Taylor has described her dad and former coach Pete Taylor as her hero and told CNN she wants another shot at Belgium's Delfine Persoon.

Arguably the greatest pound-for-pound female fighter of all time, Taylor recalled that there was uproar when it was discovered she was not a boy at amateur contests in the late 1990s.

Female amateur boxing was unheard of in Ireland at the time and Taylor used to disguise her gender and name to see some action, she explained to the CNN Special “Undisputed.”

"I think I was the only female boxer in the country at a time, so I used to have to pretend I was a boy to get into these competitions," she recalled.

"I used to have my hair up in my headgear and I used to be known as 'Kay Taylor.'

When I took the headgear off at the end of the fight and everyone realized I was a girl, there was uproar. The minute I started boxing, it just really took hold of my heart.

The jewel in the crown of the IABA’s acclaimed High-Performance unit, Taylor claimed 170 wins from 180 outings in the amateur ranks and 18 major titles under her dad, including Ireland’s only Olympic gold in any sport this century at London 2012.

She turned pro after Rio 2016 and took under three years to clean out the entire lightweight limit after she securing the IBF/WBO/WBC/WBA belts after 14 fights and 104 rounds of prizefighting under manager Brian Peters and coach Ross Emaniat.

Shortly before the Rio Games, Connecticut-based Taylor was left distraught after her dad separated from her mother Bridget.

"I guess it hurt so much just because of how much I loved him as well.

But I still have a great relationship with my dad. I still absolutely love him. He's always been a hero to me.

"And, and that will never change as well. But just to go through that was difficult for me,” she remarked.

Taylor used to practice how she would accept an Olympic gold when she was a youngster, according to her mum.

"There wasn't a day that went by where I didn't dream of that gold medal, added Taylor who revealed that her favourite Christmas presents where Sugar Ray Leonard DVDs.

The Wicklow orthodox also feels she beat Delfine Person legitimately to unify the lightweight class in June at Madison Square Garden.

The fight ended in a controversial majority decision to the Irishwoman, but many pundits believe Persoon deserved at least a draw.

"It's a very, very easy fight to score in my mind," insisted Taylor. "A lot of people had it 6-4 to me. Some people had it 5-all. But very, very few people, that I've spoken to, actually had her winning."

Now 33, it remains to be seen how much mileage is left on the clock for Taylor who has won everything there is to be won in the amateur and pro ranks, but she wants another shot at Persoon.

"I look forward to beating her a little bit more convincingly,” she vowed.

More on this topic

Broadhurst may collide with Taylor conquerorBroadhurst may collide with Taylor conqueror

Fury to face Wallin in Las Vegas next month with hopes set on Wilder rematchFury to face Wallin in Las Vegas next month with hopes set on Wilder rematch

Saunders targeting Golovkin and Alvarez after Matchroom moveSaunders targeting Golovkin and Alvarez after Matchroom move

Tyson Fury heading back to Vegas to take on Otto WallinTyson Fury heading back to Vegas to take on Otto Wallin

More in this Section

Bennett bids to bring hot streak into Vuelta debutBennett bids to bring hot streak into Vuelta debut

Roger Federer feeling better than ever heading into US OpenRoger Federer feeling better than ever heading into US Open

Wolves boss Nuno dismisses burnout fears amid busy scheduleWolves boss Nuno dismisses burnout fears amid busy schedule

Anna O’Flanagan hits crucial winner as Ireland get vital win over BelgiumAnna O’Flanagan hits crucial winner as Ireland get vital win over Belgium


Lifestyle

These green pancakes are topped with avocado, tomato and cottage cheese.How to make Jamie Oliver’s super spinach pancakes

Who else can pull off a look described as a ‘hip-hop Michelin woman’?As her new EP drops, this is why there will never be a style icon quite like Missy Elliott

The classic white-tipped look is once again in favour, and celebs are loving it.The French manicure is back – 5 modern ways to try the trend

The A-Listers hiding in plain sight: As Rihanna is spotted at the cricket, who are the celebs who have been living under our noses in Ireland? Ed Power reports.Celebs in plain sight: The A-Listers living under our noses in Ireland

More From The Irish Examiner