In the life of a sports writer and/or fan, there are seminal moments which outshine and resonate longer than all others. Like finding a real diamond ring in an already delicious barm brack. For this corner, Kevin Foley’s goal against Dublin on July 6th, 1991 will forever spearhead any such compilation. Closely followed by the penalty shootout in Genoa a year beforehand. What will forever be remembered by the occupant of this seat as the day the haymaking stopped. Now read on…
In all honesty, the first time Katie Taylor’s name was heard cannot be recalled. However, there is perfect clarity regarding following her journey to Olympic glory thanks to the dulcet tones of the incomparable, irreplaceable Jimmy Magee. She and he were absolutely outstanding during that week in London eight years ago. The occasion of the coronation of Queen Katie was another day on which the baler was parked up to take in a moment of history. As a result of which I was able to, by pure fluke, get the best photo I was ever lucky enough to snap. Of Michael Clarke at work when the round bales were eventually produced later that evening.
In the aftermath of the iconic Bray lady’s historic achievement, many aficionados of pugilism and this casual observer were of the opinion that she would, and should, stay amateur. Inference being that she would have garnered over further garlands.
Having said that, I know from personal experience how persuasive Brian Peters can be when he comes calling. If there was an award for such a thing, himself and his good friend and mine, Martin Donnelly, would be jointly rewarded as the most generous men in Irish sport. No, I haven’t forgotten J. P., that man is on a different level and should be given the freedom of the nation.
If anybody could get around Katie to go pro it was Brian. The man who constantly seems to have a pencil parked behind his ear gives the impression that he constantly beam positivity.
What was certain was once Katie went under the umbrella of Brian Peters Promotions – not to mention having other boxing royalty in Eddie Hearn and his Matchroom Boxing operation – behind her, stardom in the professional ranks was absolutely assured. If it were ever in doubt.
Without delving into certain matters outside the ring, it would be fairly well known that the former soccer international has been through some tough battles in more recent years, but, in such a situation, she couldn’t have someone better than Brian at her shoulder to keep her firmly on the road to further stardom and indeed help to deliver it.
Temptation is to say the fact Katie is 17-0 since turning pro should be absolutely no surprise. That, though, wouldn’t afford her due acclaim for the effort and sustained excellence it takes to eek out such utter dominance of one’s area of expetise. Like the great Kerry Gaelic football team of the 1970s/early 80s or the current Dublin one.
Be it amateur or professional, Taylor has met and defeated them all. Her early bltzing of the brave and talented Miriam Gutierrez – who went the full 10 rounds – confirming her unification as the best lightweight (or any weight) in the world.
Now all that remains is for Katie to come home and strut her stuff in front of her own people. Imagine taking on, say, Natasha Jonas in a full Croke Park. Imagine the scenes in The County Club. Come on Brian, when this Covid chaos stops paralysing the world, please make it happen!