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Dublin: 14°C Friday 18 September 2020

'If you read all the comments on social media, you are going to get depressed'

She may be undisputed lightweight champion of the world but the best is yet to come, as Katie Taylor says herself.

All the belts: Katie Taylor.
All the belts: Katie Taylor.
Image: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

WHEN KATIE TAYLOR turned professional a little over two-and-a-half years ago, she said she was going to clean up.

And that’s exactly what the undisputed lightweight champion of the world has done since then, the proof in the five glistening belts sitting nicely to her left as she reflects on her remarkable rise through the ranks.

From Olympic gold to the top of the professional game, all that came before and has gone in between; it really has been some journey for the Bray icon.

“I’m very, very proud,” Taylor smiles, fulfilling her media duties ahead of a special screening of Katie at the Lighthouse Cinema yesterday.

This is obviously the pinnacle of boxing. It’s always been my dream since I turned pro to become the undisputed champion, to hold all of those belts. To have the five belts is absolutely incredible. What an amazing journey it has been over the last few years.

“It’s been brilliant. The exposure that I have been getting has been incredible. The best is yet to come and that’s the best part about it.”

She’s not one to bask in the spotlight and the glory, as many know at this stage. She’d rather deflect the praise and plaudits to those around her, the team she’s so very grateful to have by her side through the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the good and the bad.

With a big question mark over what’s next at the minute, Taylor is happy in the knowledge that she has enjoyed some well-deserved time at home. An October fight is looking likely, it’s just a question of against who.

But the 33-year-old is feeling fresh after winding down a little, and ready to board a plane Stateside next week to get stuck back into training. 

“I’ve been home for the last few weeks,” she says. “It’s been brilliant. It’s the longest I’ve been home in a long time actually, it’s been great.”

Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon Taylor's last win was a controversial one over Delfine Persoon. Source: Matchroom Boxing/Ed Mulholland/INPHO

“You turned pro 918 days ago and fought on average of every 56 days, crazy stuff,” her manager, Brian Peters, interjects. Crazy, indeed.

The last of those fights was of course against Delfine Persoon at Madison Square Garden last month. It was an absolute thriller, one which Taylor came out on top in after a razor-tight decision, and one which lead to plenty of debate afterwards.

Two judges scored it 96-94 to Taylor, the third called a draw.

Controversy followed, with Persoon and many, many others around the globe disputing Taylor’s win; the defeated Belgian policewoman saying she “wouldn’t want to be like her,” appealing the decision and claiming she “doesn’t have the guts” to rematch

Well, evidently, Taylor can’t wait for the rematch — as she says many times –  and insists that the negativity afterwards didn’t take the gloss off her famous victory at MSG in any way.

“The judges are there for a reason,” she states, matter-of-factly. “It was a very, very close fight, I came out as the undisputed champion and I felt like it was well deserved.

“It was a very, very tight fight of course. It was a tough battle regardless of whether people thought I won or she won, everyone can agree that it was an absolute battle. 

I don’t think you can call tough fights like that ‘robberies’ or bad decisions or ‘disgraceful decisions’. Those remarks are a disgrace in themselves really.

The true professional that she is, the backlash didn’t get to her though.

Katie Taylor with Katie O'Toole from Tallaght With a young fan at her recent homecoming in Bray. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“I think I’ve been in the game long enough to know that criticism comes from everywhere, really. I have great people around me, people that I absolutely trust and they’re the opinions that I actually listen to.

If you read all the comments on social media, you are going to get depressed from time to time. I know who to listen to, I know who to trust and those are the opinions I respect.

While Amanda Serrano is the big target as of now and a superfight with MMA star Holly Holm is also a possibility, talk of a Persoon rematch just can’t be escaped.

“The rematch is definitely going to happen at some stage,” she smiles. “I can wait to have that. That’s exactly what sport needs as well. There’s going to be a lot more interest in the rematch than the actual original fight.

“I think it’s great for the business. I don’t want to be involved in too many of those tough fights. That was definitely a Fight of the Year contender.”

I’d absolutely love the rematch and I’d love to beat her more convincingly because it was a very, very close fight. It was an absolute battle, that’s for sure, for ten rounds.

“That rematch is going to be inevitable. At the same time, I would love to move up a weight and maybe become a multiple weight undisputed champion. That’s history-making right there.”

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She does know a thing or two about making history, after all.

As she says herself, the best is yet to come. 

More belts, more history, and much more Katie Taylor.

Katie Taylor was at an exclusive Sky VIP event at The Lighthouse Cinema. Sky customers can join Sky VIP for free by downloading the My Sky app where they can enjoy money-can’t-buy experiences and more.

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About the author:

Emma Duffy

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