Treacy ‘thrilled’ as Katie stays an amateur

All eyes are now on Ireland’s sought-after boxing coaches Billy Walsh and Zaur Antia after Katie Taylor’s confirmation yesterday that she will remain in the amateur ranks and defend her Olympic gold medal in Brazil in four years’ time.

Treacy ‘thrilled’ as Katie stays an amateur

Like Taylor, the two high performance coaches have been inundated with offers from abroad since the success of the Irish team in London during the summer but it appears that the pair are close to committing their future to the Irish set-up.

Taylor’s news yesterday morning also makes it certain that a deal has finally been worked out with the Irish Sports Council and Irish Amateur Boxing Association regarding her father and coach Peter for the foreseeable future.

No further details accompanied a subsequent press release late last night from the IABA which suggests some odds and ends have yet to be ironed out although the ISC’s chief executive John Treacy did welcome the news on RTÉ radio yesterday evening.

“We are delighted,” said the 1984 Olympic medallist. “It is great that she is staying in the amateur ranks. It is great for boxing in Ireland and great for boxing internationally so we are delighted she has made this decision.

“The support is there for her around the high performance system within the IABA and she can continue to develop and fight the best in the world and win medals for Ireland in the future so we are absolutely thrilled.”

Taylor has been consistent in her stated desire to shun the professional game but as the weeks dragged on and no agreement was reached, it seemed that there was a slim chance of the Bray boxer being lost to the amateur game.

Only last week, it was floated that the Taylor camp was examining the possibility of the gold medallist switching to the pro game for 15 fights before returning to the unpaid ranks with her eligibility for Rio intact. “I’ve been offered a few professional contracts...in the hundreds and thousands,” Taylor told Today FM yesterday.

“The thing with professional boxing is you have to have the right promoter and the right fights. It is a cutthroat business. You have to make sure you have the right people around you to get the right fights, and you’re not guaranteed to get the best fights.

“With amateur boxing, you’re just entered into a competition and to be the best you’ve got to beat the best.

“As an amateur you might be fighting five or six times in a week and you have to make the weight all week. It’s gruelling on the body. So to win an amateur world title is a lot harder than to win a professional world title.

“For me there is nothing better than boxing for my country and bringing home medals for my country.”

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