Taylor camp examine pro-back-to-amateur switch

Katie Taylor’s camp are examining a clause which they believe may allow the Olympic gold medallist fight up to 15 times as a professional before reverting to the amateur ranks, from where she would be able to defend her title in Rio in 2016.

The 26-year old’s representatives will be discussing the matter with senior world boxing officials today to establish the hard and fast rules and, if given the go-ahead to switch over and back, it is believed Taylor could strike a deal with Brian Peters Promotions to fight here in Ireland.

Peters, who is based in Dunshaughlin in Co Meath, has promoted fights involving a generation of Irish boxing’s finest professional talent, including former world champion Bernard Dunne, Andy Lee, John Duddy and Matthew Macklin.

The previously non-negotiable dividing line between amateur and professional boxing has been obscured recently with amateurs such as Kenny Egan and John Joe Nevin having already fought in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) as so-called “salaried” participants.

A further six Irish boxers will compete in the next edition of the WSB, without headguards or vests and with professional-style scoring systems, and there are plans to introduce identical changes for the next Olympic.

The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) has also announced a pro tournament for 2013 which they claim will allow amateur fighters compete and yet remain eligible for the global event in Brazil.

As for Taylor, Peters has already offered a professional contract, as has Oscar De La Hoya through Golden Boy Promotions, but the Bray boxer reaffirmed her love for the amateur game before sharing her thoughts on Nevin’s decision to go pro.

“It was a bit of a surprise, really,” she said. “John Joe is a huge, huge loss to amateur boxing. Obviously he’s a huge gain to the professional game and we wish him all the best, but I think all the lads would have loved for him to stay amateur.

“But obviously he got a good contract and he has to do what’s right for himself. He’s got his Olympic medal and that was his dream and now he’s going for a professional title. We’ll be his biggest supporters anyway.”

Taylor, who the AIBA confirmed yesterday has won their World Elite Female Boxer of the Year Award for an historic third time, also described Nevin as the most talented boxer on the Irish team and hopes to take in his first fight, in Manchester in January.

“I think he felt that he doesn’t know what’s going to happen in the next few years and he had to take the contract while he has his silver medal. He’s going to go on and do great things in professional boxing.”

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