Watch Katie Taylor's father explain how Irish boxing team became 'a mess' after coach Billy Walsh left

Watch Katie Taylor's father explain how Irish boxing team became 'a mess' after coach Billy Walsh left

Katie Taylor's father Pete has blamed the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) and the departure of Billy Walsh for Ireland's lack of boxing medals at the Rio Olympics.

Speaking to Tommy Martin and Anna Daly on TV3’s 'Sunday AM', Pete Taylor, himself a former Irish boxing coach, explained where he felt the Irish boxing team fell down and his heartache at watching daughter Katie suffer defeat in Rio.

Taylor, who no longer trains his daughter Katie, said that Irish boxers' prospect suffered since the departure of Billy Walsh, who stepped down as coach in October 2015.

"I think she [Katie] looked a little bit tired going in to the ring. I think most of the boxers looked overtired to tell you the truth, they all looked tired," he said.

"I think that’s what the main problem was. I think it has been a mess since Billy left.

"They never replaced Billy and I think it was the wrong time for Billy and the association to get into conflict when they did and they were both at fault there, coming into an Olympic year.

"All of the focus should have been on the boxing gearing up to an Olympics.

Elaborating on his frustration at the IABA, Taylor said: "They needed a leader there, and they didn’t do that. That was the main problem.

"They thought all the boxers had to do was turn up. Over-confident."

Former professional boxer, Jim Rock, aka ‘The Pink Panther’, who joined Pete Taylor on the ‘Sunday AM’ couch, agreed with Pete’s view that the boxers peaked too soon and were tired.

Watch Katie Taylor's father explain how Irish boxing team became 'a mess' after coach Billy Walsh left

"They reached their peak too soon," he said.

"These guys are training twice a day, sometimes three times. If you peak too soon, you’re not going to perform on the day.

"Your trainer can read you as well as you can read yourself.

"Sometimes you need a day or two off to rest and then you come back in and you’re like a new pin."

Taylor also pointed to the fact that Katie was left without a coach in the week leading up to her fight as all three Olympic coaches were in Rio, while she was back in Ireland.

"One of the Olympic coaches should have stayed there [in Ireland] to manage Katie.," he said.

"That last week of training is so important. It’s when you get your most spars in and you taper when you get over to Rio.

"I just think it was managed badly, they lacked a leader."

Meanwhile, Billy Walsh’s impact on the USA team has been felt in Rio where they have secured a number of medals including a light flyweight win – the first in 28 years for the team.

Billy Walsh
Billy Walsh

Having trained boxing star Katie and helped her secure gold at the London 2012 Olympics, Pete explained how frustrated he was watching from the outside in: "It was heart-breaking to tell the truth.

"But, when you’re on the outside you can’t step in anyway. There are plans in place; you can’t be interfering with the plans that have been put in place."

Taylor believes that the IABA needs to reform.

When asked if he’d like to get back involved with the High Performance Unit, he said: "I’m not interested. There’s too much politics there.

"The High Performance team needs to be restructured now. The High Performance was a flagship for IABA but there was so much conflict between IABA and the High Performance.

"It’s like a jealousy thing. That’s what the problem is. It needs to be gelled together a little bit better and it needs to be changed."

On the questionable scoring system in Rio, he said: "It’s always been like that.

"Amateur boxers are used to it now, but when you go onto the biggest stage in the world, you’re meant to have the best referees and judges in the world as well.

"It shouldn’t happen but it does – that’s why the scoring was changed to the computer scoring and now it’s changed back again like it was 20-30 years ago.”

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