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Andy Lee Provides A Fascinating Theory As To Why Katie Taylor Lost Her Olympic Fight

Andy Lee Provides A Fascinating Theory As To Why Katie Taylor Lost Her Olympic Fight
By Gavan Casey Updated

Former WBO World middleweight champion Andy Lee has been a beacon of sense during a tumultuous couple of weeks for Irish boxing in Rio.

The 31-year-old Limerick man was speaking on Second Captains yesterday following Katie Taylor's shock defeat to Mira Potkonen of Finland, and explained how he was worried the former five-time world champion was over-training in the lead-up to the Games.

Lee watched Taylor spar the pair's mutual friend Eric Donovan - who himself has impressed the masses with his excellent boxing analysis on RTÉ - and noticed how she seemed jaded against her physically larger sparring partner:

About two weeks before she left to go to Rio she was sparring in the Stadium with Eric Donovon, and to me she looked tired then.

She was training very hard and she was sparring him who is a lot heavier and obviously a male boxer, so she’d be up against it, but she just looked tired.

Lee explained how, without intending to step over the mark, he suggested as much to the room following the sparring session last month:

We were sitting around after the training session, having a conversation with everybody in the room and I was trying to hint that all the training was my biggest fear for her, that it could be her downfall. To me, even then, she looked over-trained and that’s what I thought when I was watching her box.

When I was saying - well, when I was trying to say - 'be careful, don’t overtrain', I could see she was trying to encourage me to say it more. She was agreeing with me, but didn’t feel she have the authority or that it wasn’t her place to say ‘I want to take it easy.'

That was my feeling, and it was only personal, and I could be completely wrong, but that was my feeling in the room when I left there.

Lee told Second Captains that he even questioned Zaur Antia on Taylor's training regime (having spoken of his admiration for Zaur on the same show last week):

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I asked Zaur, ‘Why are you training her like this'? Because a lot of the time he was making her intentionally stay up on her toes and use a lot of work with her legs and a lot feinting, which burns up so much energy.

He said, 'We have a special plan’ and that there was a couple of opponents - I assume he was alluding to the girls who had beaten her [Yana Alekseevna and Estelle Mossely] - and this was the plan they were going to use to beat those girls, this style of boxing.

Lee is about as astute a pugilistic observationist as one could encounter, and his theory for Taylor's sluggish display will be the cause of some concern as the debate rages on as to what exactly has happened to Ireland's boxers at this Olympics.

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The truth is likely similar to that of Ireland's disastrous 2007 Rugby World Cup, of course, in that there is no definite answer, but rather a combination of tangible and intangible factors. We'll still be talking about it in 10 years, and can only hope we rediscover the glory years in the intervening period. Beginning with Michael Conlan today.

You can check out Lee's appearance on Second Captains below:

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