Boxing star Katie Taylor has credited football legend Roy Keane with helping her through the “lowest point” of her whole career.
The 36-year-old will take on Argentina’s Karen Elizabeth Carabajal at Wembley this evening, headlining a card which also includes Jordan Gill and Mary Romero.
It is Taylor’s first fight since she defeated Amanda Serrano by split decision at Madison Square Gardens in April.
The Irish star is undefeated as a professional, but she suffered three losses during her amateur career. Two of these defeats came in 2016, with Taylor failing to defend both her world and Olympic titles.
In an interview with BBC Sport, Taylor described this period as the lowest of her career.
How did Roy Keane help Katie Taylor during the “lowest point” of her career?
When asked to decide between Roy Keane or Robbie Keane, two Irish sporting heroes, Taylor didn’t even have to deliberate.
“Roy Keane, he’s my favourite athlete of all time,” she said. “Since I was a kid, he’s been someone I looked up to, just a winning mentality.”
Taylor went on to explain how Keane had called her after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where she had lost in the quarter-finals to Finland’s Mira Potkonen.
“That was during my lowest point of my whole career,” she said. “To get a phone call from my hero just meant so much to me.
“Since then, he’s been in touch with me every now and then, just wishing me luck before fights. Just an amazing athlete.”
Video: Watch Katie Taylor praise football legend Roy Keane
“To get a phone call from my hero just meant so much to me.” 🙌@KatieTaylor opens up on the support she gets from Roy Keane and the moment he reached out to her during “the lowest point” of her career 🙏#BBCBoxing pic.twitter.com/9fXHcLogGw
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) October 29, 2022
Who is Katie Taylor?
Taylor, considered one of the best female boxers of all time, is currently the reigning WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, and The Ring lightweight champion.
The Bray Bomber has won all 21 of her professional fights, with the victory against Serrano her most high-profile yet.
Taylor’s amateur career included five world titles and an Olympic gold medal at London 2012.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 30: Katie Taylor of Ireland poses with her team after defeating Amanda Serrano of Puerto Rico for the World Lightweight Title fight at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2022 in New York, New York. This bout marks the first women’s boxing fight to headline Madison Square Garden in the venue’s history. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
She also balanced boxing and football for a period, making 11 appearances and scoring two goals for Ireland between 2006 and 2009.
Keane, who made 67 appearances for Ireland during an illustrious career, has previously spoken about his respect for Taylor.
When asked last year which three guests he would love to have dinner with, Keane named Taylor.
“I’ll say a true champion,” he said. “Katie Taylor from Ireland. Brilliant, I’ve met her once, an amazing sports person.”
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