"I'd be nothing without God," says boxing champ Katie TaylorSaturday, May 19th, 2012
Irish boxer, Katie Taylor fights at 8.00am this morning (Sat 19th May) in the final of the World Boxing Championships in China. When she made it to the final four in the WBC earlier this week, she guaranteed herself a place on the Irish boxing team for the Olympics in London this summer. But Katie wants to go to London as the world champion.
Taking time out from her punishing schedule in China, Taylor expressed her thanks to all her supporters for their prayers, and her thanks to God.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their prayers over the last few weeks because I couldn’t have done this without them,” she told Paul McDermott of the Irish Sports Council. “God has been so great to me these last few years in my career and I’d be nothing without him.”
“It’s a dream come true. I just can’t believe it really,” she added.
Yesterday the Bray boxer beat Tajikistan’s Mavzuna Chorieva 16-6 in the semi-final in Qinhuangdao. Speaking to RTÉ after her fight, she said she was “delighted to be in another final and one step closer to retaining my world title”.
The three-time world champion meets Sofya Ochigava from Russia in the final today. The match will be televised on RTE 2 at 8.00am.
In an interview with Kieran Shannon of the Irish Examiner last year, Taylor, a born again Christian, said God was her psychologist. "The Bible is my sport psychology manual. God is my psychologist. And my Dad is probably the best sport psychologist in the world."
Her father is also a boxer, and it was through him that Katie got into the sport. One evening he was all set to train in the club in Bray, preparing for the national championships which he had won as a heavyweight, when 11-year-old Katie’s athletics training was cancelled. It was too late to find a babysitter so he brought her to the gym "to do a bit of skipping and that". Before he knew it, she was in the ring, sparring with boys. At the time he thought it was just a phase, to supplement her football, but she stuck with it, and her father has been at her side at all times.
Yesterday as she boxed her way to the finals, her Dad was in the corner, offering her advice and support. Her opponent was indulging in a bit of “trash talking”, but Katie would not get drawn in.
“I can do that myself,” she told RTE. “I wasn’t going to get drawn in. I am one step closer to retaining the world title. I have received incredible support and good wishes from everyone back home and I hope to do everyone proud in the Olympics and win a gold medal. Hopefully I will be going there as world champion.”
by Susan Gately