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''You will have to ask...
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''You will have to ask him about that'' - Katie Taylor opens up about her father stepping down as her coach

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

13:06 28 Feb 2016

''Is it me?''

The iconic words breathlessly uttered by Katie Taylor after the bell rang in the final round of the Olympic final in 2012. Beating her chest, she did what anyone would do in that moment of uncertainty - she looked to her father for reassurance.

Nodding his head and arms outstretched, her Dad Pete was waiting at the ropes to embrace her. Every parent thinks their child is a little champion, even if it means overlooking deficiencies in order to believe it. But when it comes to Katie Taylor, her father never needed to fee any delusions.

She was the champion and comprehensively so.

She may look for Dad Pete again this summer when she travels to Rio to retain her gold podium spot in the 60 kg category, but she will have to extend her search to the crowd this time to find him.

For all of her 29 years, he has been in her corner and for some 10 years, he has been her boxing coach. And speaking to the Irish Independent, Katie insists that his counsel is at the bedrock of everything she has achieved.

''I wouldn't be where I am without my dad. He's a genius. I always feel like the freshest boxer going into competitions. He's looking for ways for me to improve all the time. I trust everything he says."

It seems unnatural for such a formidable combination to break links, but nothing lasts forever and at the same time, nothing has changed between them. 

''Well, he's my father, so he's still my dad at the end of the day and that's the most important role. He's entitled to take a break. I owe so much to my dad and what he has done for me. And it's hard work doing what he has done, so he's entitled to a break."

And as for who made the final call? 

''I think you will have to speak to him about that. I'm not going to answer any questions. All I can say is my preparation is going fantastic. And I absolutely love my family and I wouldn't [be anywhere] without them."

Zaur Anita, the national coach and someone who ''has always been in my corner," has inherited the honour of training the champion. And Katie is pleased with how her preparation is going.

 

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