High Performance head coach Billy Walsh has moved to ease the mounting pressure on Olympic hopeful Katie Taylor after Four time Olympic medallist Sebastian Coe joined the growing number of people backing her to win gold in London 2012.
The chairman of the London Olympics is predicting stardom for the number 1 female boxer in the world and believes she can be a Irish success story in the next games.
However, despite admitting he thinks the three time world and five time European champ is the best athlete ever produced by Ireland Walsh cliams just one punch could shatter Taylor’s Olympic dreams.
The respected coach tried to play down the hype and is adamant gold is not a cert. Indeed he stressed Taylor faces a tough task in qualifying, could suffer injury and with more countries investing in female boxing because of its Olympic status could come up against a talent yet to be discovered fighter.
“There’s a lot of expectation around Katie but she hasn’t qualified yet,” Walsh warned.
“There’s 10 days in the World Championships in China next May and if she’s injured or out of form over there she might suffer something similar to what happened her in
Barbados and have a difficult time. She got an injury, took too much difene, got diarrhoea, weighed in two kilos below her weight and nearly lost a fight. Anything is possible in sport, particularly in boxing. Katie’s only one punch away from defeat.”
“Katie is the best athlete Ireland has ever produced. Not one of our male boxers lives the high performance life that Katie lives. She prepares with the men, spars with the men and she’s equal to them, sometimes better. There is huge expectation on Katie to win a gold medal, but she faces a difficult road ahead.”