August 15, 2022

‘He didn’t have to do that’

Katie Taylor has recalled how a phone call from Roy Keane helped her in the ‘lowest moment’ of her career after she lost at the Rio Olympics.

Taylor was the defending lightweight champion at the Olympics in 2016 and was expected to win her second gold medal following her heroics at the London games four years earlier.

The Bray boxer, however, suffered a shock defeat in her opening bout of the tournament, losing via split decision to Finnish fighter Mira Potkonen.

Katie Taylor on Roy Keane phone call

Ahead of the biggest fight of her career against Amanda Serrano on Saturday in New York City, Taylor spoke about how Keane’s kind gesture helped her at what was the low point of her time in boxing.

“I mean to get a phone call from my absolute idol, my hero, in my lowest moment meant so much to me, I have to say,” Taylor told JOE ahead of her bout against Serrano.

“He was just so encouraging towards me. I was obviously saying how disappointed and heartbroken I was about the loss at that time, just about my performance in general.

“But he was nothing but supportive, nothing but encouraging and just to hear those words from him during my lowest point was… He didn’t have to do that really.

“That was just amazing of him to even think of me during that time and to pick up the phone to me. I’m sure he has a lot on his plate, but the fact he actually took time to actually give me a call meant so much.”

See also  Aymeric Laporte offers sarcastic response after Team of the Year snub

The respect between Keane and Taylor is mutual, with the former Ireland midfielder recently calling Taylor a ‘true champion’.

Katie Taylor Roy Keane

Katie Taylor: I looked up to Roy Keane

Taylor was a talented footballer who represented the Republic of Ireland women’s team 11 times before switching her focus exclusively to boxing.

The lightweight world champion said that admired Keane’s ‘no-nonsense’ approach as a footballer, and has carried that mindset into boxing.

“My favourite athlete of all time would’ve been Roy Keane, genuinely. I looked up to him so much growing up, just his winning mentality,” Taylor said.

“He was a no-nonsense player, a no-nonsense man and never settled for second best, he just had a winning mentality.

“That’s the sort of player I wanted to be on the pitch, and that’s the sort of mentality I want to have as an athlete.

“I just love his no-nonsense approach.”

Taylor’s professional boxing career ahead of Serrano bout

Taylor turned professional soon after her low point in Rio and has never looked back.

The Bray boxer has a perfect record of 20 wins from 20 bouts and is the reigning WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, and The Ring lightweight champion.

On Saturday, Taylor will face Serrano at Madison Square Garden in the biggest bout in female boxing history.

Taylor headlines a card at one of the world’s most famous sporting arenas, where all the past greats of the sport have competed.

The 35-year-old Olympic champion has already secured her legacy in boxing but will reach the pinnacle of the sport with victory over Serrano on Saturday.