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Watch: Katie Taylor Tries To Tempt British Rival Out Of Retirement, Is Politely Declined

Watch: Katie Taylor Tries To Tempt British Rival Out Of Retirement, Is Politely Declined
By Gavan Casey
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Katie Taylor captured the imagination of the British boxing core with a frightening if expected stoppage of Polish opponent Karina Kopinska live on Sky Sports on Saturday night.

World champions James DeGale and Tony Bellew led the tributes as the pride of Bray and Ireland dazzled on her professional bow with a third round TKO, just months after bitter disappointment at the Rio Olympics.

It was four years prior to Rio when Taylor announced herself on the grandest stage, winning the first ever women's boxing Olympic gold in front of 20,000 frenzied fans at London's ExCel Arena, as across the Irish Sea a nation went positively ballistic.

Taylor met popular Liverpudlian and home favourite Natasha Jonas in the opening round of that Olympic boxing tournament, outpointing her Team GB adversary 25-16 in one of finest bouts that summer. The amicable Jonas, whose respect for Taylor and the role the Irishwoman played in bringing women's boxing to the Olympics was abundantly clear, was magnanimous in defeat to the world's greatest ever female amateur boxer.


"When you see women's boxing at the highest level," Jonas said later, "and that kind of performance, how can you argue that women aren't just as good as the men?"

Now retired from boxing altogether, Jonas was on punditry duty for her old foe's professional debut at Wembley Arena, and excitedly waxed lyrical about Taylor's display. Moments later, Taylor was by her side for her post-fight interview with Sky Sports' Ed Robinson, and found the five-time world champion cheekily attempting to lure her back into the ring for a stadium showdown.

With a glint in her eye, Taylor told Sky:


This is my pro debut, we don't want to get too carried away - the tests will only get tougher from here.

I plan to do big things in this sport, and... Maybe Tasha can make a comeback and we can fill out a stadium!

It's probably fair to judge from Natasha Jonas' polite reaction that she's more than happy to stay retired for the time being:



Speaking on Sky Sports' Sportswomen show on November 1st, Jonas spoke of the impact Taylor's move to the pro ranks would have on the women's game:

Katie has a crazy following and she will take the world by storm.

This is absolutely massive and you now have people wanting to see and find out more about women's professional boxing.

There are some really good professionals out there. Sofya Ochigava, who Katie beat in the final at London 2012, is a professional, and Lucie Bertaud is a European silver medallist who turned professional a couple of years ago.

It gives women another option. The lads have always had the option to turn pro whereas the women haven't had that. You had to stay amateur because that's where all the gains were and you could have the chance to fight at the Olympics. Now, you can do both. You can be an amateur and take the sport where you want and then you can turn professional.

SEE ALSO: The British Boxing Community Was Enthralled By Katie Taylor's Sensational Debut

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