KATIE: My tears over rift with dad

Katie re­veals pain in doc­u­men­tary at fall­ing out with Pete & how she fought back to top

Irish Sunday Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - BY SYLVIA POW­NALL Katie with her mother Brid­get [email protected]­mir­ror.ie

KATIE Tay­lor has ad­mit­ted she felt like she was miss­ing her right arm step­ping into the ring without her box­ing coach dad Pete in her cor­ner.

The 32-year-old breaks down in her epony­mous doc­u­men­tary dur­ing the only in­ter­view she’s ever given on cam­era about the split.

At one point Katie, who was of­fi­cially ranked the world’s great­est fe­male boxer of all time on Fri­day, gets so emo­tional she can’t get the words out.

Welling up, she said: “I think for the first time I seen, kind of… I get emo­tional.”

The in­ter­view is paused to al­low Katie to com­pose her­self.

She added: “My dad de­cided to step away from the fam­ily and start a life with this other girl. I was go­ing from see­ing my dad ev­ery day to not see­ing him at all.

“My suc­cess in the ring doesn’t mean as much to me as my in­tegrity re­ally and that is def­i­nitely the most im­por­tant thing to me.” Ear­lier in the fea­ture-length doc­u­men­tary, which airs on RTE next week, she tells how her re­la­tion­ship with her dad is key to her suc­cess. But later she breaks down again when she re­vealed: “I felt like my dad was some­body I could no longer work with re­ally.

“The first time I had to go train­ing without him I was go­ing in by my­self and the tears were ac­tu­ally rolling down my face. I was like this is ac­tu­ally a re­al­ity for me.

“I never thought I’d have to do this without him.

“I knew when I made the de­ci­sion to step away from my dad that was go­ing to cost me a lot.

“I just felt like ev­ery time I stepped into the ring without my dad at that time that I was miss­ing my right arm.”

The award-win­ning film di­rected by Ross Whi­taker fol­lows Katie as she tries to put her life back to­gether af­ter suf­fer­ing a crush­ing de­feat at

the Rio Olympics. Her brother Peter de­scribes their dad as “a well-rounded coach and tac­ti­cian” who had “a re­ally in-depth knowl­edge of strength and con­di­tion­ing”.

He said of the split: “To Katie this was the most heart­break­ing news. I mean, to all of us in the fam­ily this was re­ally heart­break­ing.

“She couldn’t look at him in the cor­ner any more. The trust was bro­ken.”

Peter said he re­alised as Katie headed for the ring in her quar­ter-fi­nal bout in Rio she was not in as good a shape as she was for the Lon­don Olympics.

He added: “She was ba­si­cally try­ing to do it on her own at that point.

“It [her de­feat] was hard to watch, hard for all of us to watch.”

Their deeply re­li­gious mother Brid­get re­veals the toll Pete’s de­ci­sion to leave and end the mar­riage took not only on her but on the en­tire fam­ily.

Pete was born near Leeds in the UK and worked the Bray ar­cades as a young man be­fore tak­ing up the gloves and win­ning the Ir­ish light heavy­weight ti­tle in 1986.

He started train­ing Katie at the age of six af­ter he found her spar­ring with the boys when he brought her to the gym be­cause he couldn’t get a babysit­ter.

Brid­get raised her four chil­dren Lee, Sarah, Katie and Peter within the Pen­te­costal faith and would reg­u­larly read from the Bi­ble to Katie be­fore a fight.

But things fell apart for a while when Pete left.

Brid­get said: “It was a com­plete shock for me, I think I de­scribed it as feel­ing like I was hit with a train.

“It’s hard enough go­ing through some­thing your­self but when you’re watch­ing peo­ple you love strug­gling as well… the emo­tional tur­moil was just huge.” Katie later talks of hav­ing a “great” meet­ing with her fa­ther some time af­ter their 2016 part­ing which she sees as “the start of restora­tion”. But as she vis­its the fam­ily home and shows off her col­lec­tion of sil­ver­ware in the “tro­phy room” she ad­mits the crush­ing de­feat in Rio still haunts her. Not­ing what’s miss­ing she said: “The Rio gold. It’s eat­ing away at me. I don’t know how to get over it.” While ad­mit­ting her shock de­feat was the low point of her ca­reer she re­solved to make the changes needed and take a stab at a pro­fes­sional box­ing ca­reer. A Twit­ter mes­sage in Oc­to­ber 2016 to pro­moter Ed­die Hearn paved the way for what has since be­come one of the most lu­cra­tive part­ner­ships in the busi­ness.

Katie now holds two of the world ti­tles at light­weight af­ter rack­ing up a se­quence of 12 suc­ces­sive vic­to­ries.

Her next fight is on March 16 in Phil­a­del­phia with an op­po­nent yet to be named. A fu­ture show­down with her light­weight ri­val and reign­ing WBC ti­tle holder Delfine Per­soon is also on the cards.

Re­veal­ing she had yet to watch the doc­u­men­tary, Katie said: “For the first time, maybe, peo­ple will see the real me in the doc­u­men­tary – get to know my real per­son­al­ity.

“And I think that’s very im­por­tant but most im­por­tantly, I guess, I just hoped it would en­cour­age peo­ple.”

Katie is on RTE One on Tues­day at 10.15pm.

She couldn’t look at him in the cor­ner any more. The trust was bro­ken

PETER TAY­LOR BROTHER IN KATIE DOC­U­MEN­TARY Rio gold is eat­ing away at me and I don’t know how to get over it

KATIE TAY­LOR ON PAIN AT MISS­ING OUT AT OLYMPICS

GLOVE LOVE Katie Tay­lor is best in world

IN HER COR­NER Katie in the ring with her dad at in 2011

RIO DE­FEAT Katie lost to Mira Potko­nen at Games

GOLDEN HOUR Katie with dad af­ter Lon­don 2012

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