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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 24 October, 2019

'She has good morals': Pete Taylor opens up on pre-Rio Olympics split with daughter Katie

‘She said: ‘If you’ve split up with my mother then I don’t want you in my corner”, the trainer recalled to the ‘No Shame’ podcast.

Pete Taylor removes Katie Taylor's headguard after a fight at the 2015 European Games.
Pete Taylor removes Katie Taylor's headguard after a fight at the 2015 European Games.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

BOXING TRAINER PETE Taylor says ‘you’ve got to admire’ his daughter Katie’s decision to part company with him prior to the Rio Olympics, even at the obvious detriment to her career.

Then the reigning Olympic champion at 60kg, Katie Taylor split from her trainer of 17 years in late 2015, the familial reasons for which she battles tears to explain openly in the documentary film Katie (RTÉ One, 22:15 next Tuesday).

The Bray woman subsequently became estranged from her father and suffered three jarring defeats in 2016, including a devastating Olympic elimination by Finland’s Mira Potkonen in her Rio quarter-final. Prior to 2016, she had not lost in five years.

Katie Taylor celebrates Katie Taylor and Pete Taylor celebrate Olympic gold at London 2012. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Speaking to former mixed martial artist Paddy Holohan on the No Shame podcast, Pete Taylor elaborated on his daughter’s reasons for dissolving their pugilistic partnership.

The trainer admitted that he admired her decision despite the pain it inflicted upon him personally.

“I don’t know if she’d have won another gold medal in Rio if I was there,” he said. “The last major title she won was when I was there.

She has good morals. She said: ‘If you’ve split up with my mother then I don’t want you in my corner’.

“She knew what the outcome would be. She knew that she’d be missing me in the corner but she still had the morals to go ahead and do that. You’ve got to respect that. She was reared good.

“There’s not many people who’d risk losing a European, Worlds and Olympic title by not having your father as a coach.

She backed her Ma. You risk your career, which she did do, but she still did it. But you’ve got to admire that as well – although it’s hurtful for me – but I’ve still got to take my hat off to her.

Katie Taylor celebrates her victory with her team Katie Taylor has since won two world titles as a professional. Source: Emily Harney/INPHO

Katie Taylor describes in her film how she split with her father and long-time mentor partially to preserve her own integrity, admitting she knew that it would likely cost her in the ring down the line.

Speaking to The42 months later, she added: “How I carry myself, how I live my life, my values, my morals, my faith, everything — that’s more important to me than anything in boxing, really.

“I don’t think anybody should compromise their integrity for any success. Integrity is the most important than anyone can have.”

The Irish sporting icon has since turned professional and won two world titles at lightweight, and has major fights in the punch-for-pay ranks lined up for 2019. She is currently the highest-earning female boxer on the planet, and her impact on the women’s sport is once again plain to see for both boxers and boxing observers.

Taylor’s father doesn’t believe she ever would have turned professional had they not gone their separate ways, but remains impressed by her work ethic as a 32-year-old athlete who is seemingly once more bound for the pinnacle of her craft.

“Even my pros I have now, I’ve never seen anybody with the same attitude,” he said. “It’s unbelievable.

“She’s gone over to Connecticut, training in the States – left everything here – living on her own.

“She’s still out there running the roads, training as if she was 14 years of age, as if it was her first day in the club, she still has the same attitude.

Obviously, I don’t see Katie training now. We still talk to each other but I don’t talk about boxing. I don’t talk about my own boxers. If I start talking about boxing then I start getting critical.

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