Reporting from the 3Arena
Devastation. It's the only word to describe the emotional aftermath of Katie Taylor's long-awaited homecoming.
Taylor went toe-to-toe with Chantelle Cameron and lost on Saturday night. It was not a controversial result.
One can only imagine the devastation she must feel that her first professional fight on Irish soil would end this way, that she'll wake up in Ireland Sunday morning with a professional defeat to her record.
While there are many other obvious questions about what comes next for Taylor, this was a result that somehow copperfastened her greatness even if the result went against her.
A lesser fighter - 99% of other fighters - would have lined up a soft touch and soaked in the jubilation.
Katie Taylor took the opposite route. In the end she took on a challenge that was beyond even her own formidable powers.
To go up a weight class and challenge a fighter six years her junior, at age 38. Cameron said during the week she would have met Taylor at a catchweight to make the fight happen. Taylor preferred to move up to super lightwelterweight. That's the madness of Katie Taylor.
There so much anticipation in the 3arena for Taylor's arrival onto the catwalk.
Yes, there was an Italia 90 vibe - tricolours flew bigging up the Bray Bomber and olés roared across the arena from before the first bell.
But this was a Katie Taylor crowd - one of the few Irish sports personalities who can transcend the divisions across Irish society. 9,000 people there to watch two women box. Imagine saying that would happen 20 years ago.
Taylor's ring walk was distinctively her. It wasn't patriotic, it wasn't a pounding anthem. It was slow, personal and reflective when the arena was ready to blow the roof off to any of The Dubliners back catalogue.
Credit to Cameron. She took the fight to Taylor in the off. Taylor seemed pensive in those opening exchanges. Eddie Hearn said she looked 'tired'. There was a moment in the third round where Taylor unleashed a devastating combo and Cameron just smiled back at her.
The final rounds were war, as Taylor absorbed punishment and returned it.
After the sixth round, the arena sensed this homecoming might not get its fairytale ending. Around that time, I started looking out into the faces of the crowd. The people who Katie had brought to boxing's return to The Point. There were many women, boys and girls, black faces and white faces. There was an elderly former Irish boxing official seated not too far from Forged Stout brigade, right in the middle of the din, there to witness this important night in Irish sport. Katie Taylor's mother said this would be a family event, and she was right.
All these people had come to see a truly singular Irish sporting icon in the flesh. So few of us have had that luxury. The bedlam that greeted her turned into mournful silence after the result was announced.
After the fight, a bruised Cameron said he was "buzzing" when she encountered the hostility in the arena
The extent of the devastation became clear when Taylor didn't appear for post-fight interview duties. This night was a decade in the making. In that intervening time, Taylor built something bigger than herself, brick-by-brick. Something much bigger than one fight, one homecoming.
It could have been so much easier. It was another night to marvel at the audacity of Katie Taylor.
SEE ALSO: 'Coming Home': Roof Came Off For Katie Taylor Ringwalk Ahead Of Dublin Fight