Paddy Appleton voices his opinion on the lack of media coverage and subsequent adoration for three time world champion Katie Taylor. Have your say and comment below!
On Saturday evening in Bray, one of Ireland’s most prolific ever sportspersons took to the ring in front of an adoring crowd whilst the national broadcaster let the moment pass idly by without a stir.
The choice not to televise Katie Taylor’s historic fight with Sandra Bruggner left the ticketless Irish public denied the chance to see a great of the game, and a momentous occasion in Irish sport.
This was the first time the Irish Amateur Boxing Association had hosted a full women’s international, yet the cameras missed it and the public were left unaware.
Not only did Katie Taylor beat Sandra Bruggner, but the Wicklow woman also dispatched Ingrid Egner 24 hours later as the expectant crowds watched in awe.
Katie Taylor’s dominance of her chosen game is a rare thing in Irish sport.
Whilst we might have fantastic soccer players, rugby union players, golfers, GAA stars and also male boxers, we do not have a champion anything like the humble 24 year old from Bray.
Taylor has risen meteorically since bursting on the international scene in 2005 at the age of 18, winning gold at the European Amateur Championships in Norway.
Her maiden victory in Norway has been followed by bountiful amounts of success, including more gold medals at European, European Union and World level.
In truth, Ireland has never had an individual athlete as successful as Katie. Yet for some reason, there is a distinct lack of Katie Taylor mania at home.
For the success and recognition the Irishwoman can bring, it is a dear shame that the national broadcaster deems their budget unfit to accommodate such fights as the weekend’s.
Is it because she is a woman? A female boxer? No, we can’t have our girls fighting on live television, whatever would the lovely Irish public think!
However, that argument just doesn’t wash with boxing people; we are not watching a woman from County Wicklow settle a banal dispute through the art of fisticuffs.
We are getting the privilege of watching one of the greatest boxers the isle of Ireland has ever produced, regardless of gender. A sight to behold, if we could see it.
Surely someone in Donnybrook can see sense where it is due, and put Taylor’s next fight on even if it is just a highlights show. Let the people see their golden girl, it’s your duty as the national broadcaster.
You can put your mortgage on it that if Katie Taylor was male, and as successful as she is, then RTE would have her splashed all over both channels, but she isn’t.
Katie Taylor is a fine example to young Irish children interested in sport, and it should be the Bray boxer that the kids tell their mums and dads they want to be like when they’re older, not the overpaid darling boys of Irish soccer or Rugby.
Taylor is the epitome of a sports star; clean-cut, skilful, dedicated. A woman big on family, sure she has her fair share of sponsorships, but does it give her the green light to be a prima donna? She could be the girl next door and you wouldn’t know it.
It is a criminal offence that the average oblivious Irish sports fan does not know Katie Taylor as well as Richard Dunne, who is a fine sportsman in his own right, but try comparing their respective achievements and come back when you see how many medals Dunne has.
For all her dominance Katie Taylor is not classed as grade A sporting value in Ireland, and the general sporting media must shoulder some of the blame.
There are plenty of outlets that give Taylor the recognition and adulation the boxer deserves, but there are too many people who choose to give Taylor short time-slots and minimal page space.
Katie Taylor is a three time World champion, five time European champion, four time European Union champion and she has represented her country at boxing and soccer.
Taylor has done it all, she spars with the male Olympic hopefuls, and beats them; she’s arguably the greatest Irish sporting star of our generation. Yet you wouldn’t know it.
Just look at Rory McIlroy. RTE Sportsperson Of The Year 2011, he won his first major at the age of 22 with a record par of 16 under at the US Open, yet this achievement will rank nowhere compared to what McIlroy will become in future years in his chosen sport.
This was the same year that Katie Taylor, in the prime of her career, won her 12th and 13th gold medals coming at the European and European Union Championships that summer, 2 years older than McIlroy at the age of 24.
Katie Taylor could have been RTE Sportsperson Of The Year 2011 by a landslide if she received the exposure and media support she most definitely deserves.
Then again, Katie who?