30 year old Taylor this week made her move into the paid game under Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport. Many are predicting World titles within a year for the Bray lightweight in the relatively shallower World of women’s professional boxing.
McCullough however feels that her commercial value may have depreciated since London, especially in the last year where she has suffered a previously unfathomable three losses.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Saturday Sport, McCullough revealed that “I advised them [Taylor, Paddy Barnes, Mick Conlan] to go pro after the London Games as I would love to have worked with them as their trainer.”
“All three waited four years to turn pro and this was after things went against them at this year’s Olympics.”
“They all got medals the last time, this time they didn’t and that can depreciate your selling point. Katie won a gold medal four years ago and in many respects she had everything to lose after that.”
The former WBC bantamweight champion believes that Taylor can still be a massive success in the pro game, but warned her of the potential pitfalls which accompany the move
He described how “Katie has the drive and I think she can turn herself into a world champion for sure.”
“I think starting off she may be on the undercard and then if she fought in New York or Boston she could top the bill for sure. She will sell out no problem at all. The Irish will always turn up. In America there are 36 million of Irish descent.”
McCullough noted the business end of the business and matchmaking as two issues to be wary of, outlining how “Katie is an Olympic gold medallist. You don’t want to put her in with people who are going to fall over. She has to be in with people who are going to fight back. That might be a problem.”
“Katie will start off with good paydays, not million dollar paydays,” the Belfast native predicted.
“You’re only as good as your last fight. In professional boxing you got to keep winning. It’s not like the amateur system where Katie had lost one or two fights and you still get paid from the Olympic Council.
“In the pro game, you could be fighting for half a million dollars one day and lose, and then be fighting for 20 grand the next. If you keep winning that’s good, but if you don’t you will drop down to the fourth division.”