Ok, you may say it’s wishful thinking from a Man United fan, but Katie Taylor’s date with destiny is the only televised sport on Saturday worth talking about…
With responsibility for speaking on behalf of Fianna Fáil on Transport, Tourism and Sport, you’d think Robert Troy’s plate was overflowing with things to talk about…but no, he couldn’t help himself and threw together a press release regarding the perceived lack of Katie Taylor coverage!
Troy picked up on a social media post calling for more coverage of Katie’s big fight this week and ran with it, using it as an opportunity to land a jab on Minister Shane Ross in the process. Playing Devil’s Advocate, the criticism isn’t entirely warranted however.
There are dedicated boxing reporters in this country, who in spite of being frozen out by the likes of MTK Global in the past, continue to champion our plethora of talented fighters, Katie Taylor included. I’ll agree that boxing still lags behind the GAA and soccer in terms of coverage however, and in the week of Mayo’s exit from the Connacht championship and all-English Europa and Champions League Finals, coverage was always going to build slowly.
Also, Katie is not the Muhammad Ali or Conor McGregor type and never has been. She’s coming to the end of the most important pre-fight camp of her career and is fully focussed on the task ahead of her this Saturday night as she takes on Delfine Persoon in Madison Square Garden.
The humble Bray superstar is standing on the edge of greatness as she attempts to become the undisputed champion of the world by unifying the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF belts. To do so though she will have to overcome Persoon. The Belgian has a record of 43-1 and hasn’t been defeated in almost a decade. No wonder then that Taylor has said that winning on Saturday would even top her Olympic gold medal in 2012.
Coverage is a two-way street of course and another issue at play is the very nature of modern professional boxing and the fact that the fight is pay per view (undercard of Joshua v Ruiz). This means that Katie won’t be making her way to the ring until well after midnight Irish time. Difficult therefore to maximise the audience for the biggest fight in the history of women’s boxing.
Thankfully, those dedicated boxing reporters I mentioned earlier arrived in New York earlier this week and will be there to give their blow-by-blow accounts! Just look for the likes of Gavan Casey on Twitter.
As Katie herself told Gavan earlier this week: “The support’s always been great. To be honest (regarding the coverage), I’ve had more important things to be worrying about this week!”