Boxing

'I Was Grateful He Made Time For Me. It Was A Stay Sharp Thing'

'I Was Grateful He Made Time For Me. It Was A Stay Sharp Thing'

When she was back in Ireland over Christmas, Katie Taylor met up with former middleweight world champion Andy Lee for some training sessions.

While away from her coach Ross Enamait, the two-weight world champion wanted to keep the edge on her skills.

"I just met up with him a couple of times and just did a couple of pad sessions with him really," Taylor said during press conference on Wednesday.

"I was grateful that he made time for me, just to stay sharp until I went back into camp with Ross. It was just a stay sharp thing for me.

"He's obviously been in there with the best fighters in his division. To be around top fighters like that is always a privilege."

Lee spoke about working with the undisputed lightweight world champion a day previous on 2FM's Game On, revealing far more than Taylor.

This Saturday, Taylor takes on Delfine Persoon in a rematch of their battle last year at Madison Square Garden. That was the night when the Bray boxer unified the lightweight division.

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The win came by majority decision. It wasn't squeaky clean and there was doubt about Taylor's victory. Some even thought Persoon should have got the decision from the judges.

If she is to remove all doubt this weekend, Lee said Taylor needs fight smart and avoid getting into a war. He also elaborated of what he sees as one of Taylor's weaknesses.

"Katie's biggest flaw since turning pro is, she still has an amateur style of throwing four fast punches - which is great - but when she finishes punching she pulls out high, with her head in a high position," said Lee.

It gives opponents an opportunity, especially someone like Persoon, who'll tuck up behind a high guard, Katie will throw her fast punches, and when Katie pulls out Persoon will come marauding forward with four or five big long shots herself.

What happened in the first fight was, Katie was getting caught on the end of those punches because she was pulling out high. What I'd like to see her do now is get her shots off - maybe not as many as four, maybe two or three - and then rolling out and exiting the trade low.

I had the pleasure of working with Katie over Christmas. It's something that we worked on, something she agreed that would be effective if she was to fight Persoon again. Hopefully it's something she's continued doing in training.

Taylor said during the press conference that she didn't want to get too deep into the mistakes her team have identified from the first fight. When asked about that specific critique from Lee, Taylor said couldn't remember them discussing the topic. Make your own conclusions there.

The 34-year-old also addressed the possibility of one day fighting in Ireland.

"I definitely haven't given up hope," she said.

"It's always been a huge dream of mine to fight in Ireland. Maybe, someday, that can happen. I've always said that I have no concern about where I fight. I just want to be involved in the biggest fights possible."

See Also: Katie Taylor Ready To Produce 'Career Best Performance' On Saturday Night

PJ Browne
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