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Golden girl Katie Taylor considers turning pro

by Rob Dore | August 13, 2012

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Will Katie make the big bucks in the pro game?

by Rob Dore | sports writer

Despite the seeming inevitability of Katie Taylor’s Olympic gold medal win, the Bray boxer had to show her battling qualities in the final to overcome the defensive Russian Sofya Ochigava. This was on top of living up to the high expectations of the boisterously supportive, success-starved Irish fans who packed the ExCel Arena in London. As ever, Katie upheld her part of the bargain.

Now that the five-time European champion, four-time World champion and Olympic gold medallist has achieved everything she can in the amateur game, talk has turned to the prospects of her turning pro. That’s something she has admitted to be considering in an this morning, live on Sky Sports News.

Katie said: “I am not really sure what I am going to do yet, it is a tough decision. I am going to take a few weeks off, but if I am offered a good contract, obviously I will have to consider it.

“It is my future, it is my career as well so I will have to consider a good professional contract or else I could stay amateur and try to defend my Olympic title.

“Either way it is going to be an exciting career, but I will make that decision in the next few weeks.”

Max Clifford backs Irish star for financial windfall

Despite her sweeping success over the last seven years, the financial rewards have been near non-existent for Katie. Only recently has the club she trains in been updated to 20th century standards with the addition of toilets and showers. Improvements which were privately funded by local businessmen.

Having given so much and received so little in return from the Irish government, the Olympic Committee of Ireland will struggle to offer a convincing argument as to why Katie should stay on for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. The financial iron is sizzling right now in the aftermath of her win and the attention it received and she would be well advised to strike now to reap the fiscal rewards she deserves.

Celebrity agent Max Clifford came up with a figure of €6 million over the next four years should Taylor turn pro, a large chunk of that figure being made up with sponsorship and endorsements.

Why Katie is perfect poster girl for pro boxing

The reality of women’s boxing is that it has declined in popularity, at least in a commercial sense, since the days of Laila Ali, daughter of Muhammed Ali just six years ago. Currently there is very little prize money to be earned for female boxers, particularly in America to such an extent that several officials and fighters have warned Taylor about heading Stateside to launch her career.

If the offspring of one of the greatest boxers to ever live can’t ignite the public’s interest in women’s boxing then who can?

Katie Taylor, that’s who.

We wanted everyone to see how great women’s boxing was this week, and we wanted to show off to the world, and that’s exactly what we did – Katie Taylor

If marketed and managed correctly, the fervent Irish support she would enjoy wherever she fought would be enough to elevate women’s boxing in to the mass consciousness. Katie’s quarter-final fight with Team GB’s Natasha Jonas broke the record for crowd noise at the games.

Her clean-living lifestyle, modest comportment and supreme talent make her the perfect poster girl for the sport. It was the presence of Taylor which sped up the inclusion of women’s boxing at the Olympics. Without her we would have had to wait until Brazil 2016 and what a loss that would have been to the London Games.

Professional boxing is in a period of decline for men and women. This makes things tough for the average male boxer and near farcical for the lower-paid female fighters. Professional boxing needs a shot in the arm, particularly the women’s game and what better shot to give it than Katie Taylor and her green army?

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