Sportsfile adidas ambassador Katie Taylor, pictured with Alice Brannigan, 6, during a visit to the newly refitted Life Style Sports store at Dundrum Town Centre
Katie Taylor

De la Hoya's pro offer tempts Katie, but her heart remains an amateur

Katie Taylor says that she has some “great” offers to turn professional, but Ireland’s golden girl looks likely to stay as an amateur instead.

TEN-TIME WORLD champion Oscar de la Hoya is the latest big boxing promoter to try his luck at tempting Katie Taylor into the sport’s professional ranks.

But while Ireland’s Olympic hero admits she is a “small bit tempted” by the approach from the Golden Boy Promotions stable, she spoke once again of her love for amateur boxing and the desire to defend her lightweight gold medal at Rio 2016.

Since her win in London Taylor has become one of boxing’s most sought-after stars, but the 26-year-old has yet to decide whether she will follow John Joe Nevin and cash in by turning pro or stay on as an amateur for another four years.

Taylor and her father Peter are in discussions with the Irish Sports Council over her future, and while she hasn’t set a deadline for any decision, she revealed that she intends to be back in the ring before Christmas if she stays amateur.

De la Hoya was one of the first big names to tweet Taylor and congratulate her on winning Olympic gold. His offer to turn pro, joining a company which includes Juan Manuel Marquez, Saul Alvarez and Bernard Hopkins, has forced her to think.

“It was a bit of a surprise. I was thinking maybe should I turn pro with Oscar de la Hoya. He has the most successful stable at the moment. Golden Boy Promotions is a huge stable.

I’m a small bit tempted I think because he’s the most successful promoter out there at the moment. We didn’t really get into it too much with him, I think my dad’s still in talks with the Sports Council and Oscar de la Hoya but we’ll see what happens anyway.

“I don’t think money is a huge factor with me really. As I said before, my heart has always been in the amateur sport. I absolutely love amateur boxing and I’d love to defend the title in four years’ time.”

She added: “I think there’s just so much more to professional boxing really. You do have to make sure you get the right promoter, you have to make sure you get a good signing on contract and you have to make sure that the fights are there for you.

In amateur boxing, you’re just entered into a competition and you have to beat the best to be the best, whoever comes up. There’s no picking and choosing your fights. Amateur boxing is purely it, it’s a pure sport. Professional boxing is a business really.

On Wednesday Taylor was named the AIBA World Elite Female Boxer of the Year for a historic third time, cementing her place as one of the sport’s greats.

If she does iron out the final details of an agreement with the Sports Council and stay as an amateur, Taylor would love to have more high-profile fights in Ireland. One name which has already been mentioned is Natasha Jonas, the Liverpudlian who Taylor beat in a barnstorming Olympic quarter-final in London.

“I always love boxing in Ireland really,” she says. “It’s always a huge pressure situation really but it’s great to get the fights here.

“I think if you go away to too many international competitions, you don’t know what’s going to happen with the judges as well. It’s just not good always worrying and thinking about the politics of it all. I think it’s better to bring performers over here really and to get the fights here.”

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