Search icon


01st Nov 2022

Katie Taylor responds after Kellie Harrington criticises her father Pete

Robert Redmond

Katie Taylor Kellie Harrington Pete Taylor

“He saw a future for this sport that few others saw.”

Katie Taylor has defended her father Pete Taylor after Kellie Harrington criticised the boxing coach.

Harrington accused Taylor of holding Irish women’s boxing back. The 2020 Olympic champion claimed that “if it wasn’t for him women’s boxing would have progressed earlier than it has.”

Pete Taylor issued a statement rejecting the suggestions. Katie, the 2012 Olympic champion and current undisputed lightweight world champion, has also strongly refuted Harrington’s comments.

The Bray boxer has defended her father and said that Pete was one of the key figures in the growth of women’s boxing. Pete Taylor coached Katie from childhood up to her 2012 Olympic gold medal win in London. The pair stopped working together in 2015.

In her Instagram post, Katie wrote:

“Inasmuch as people have given me credit for the inclusion of women’s boxing in the Olympics, it would not have happened without my Da tirelessly campaigning outside the ring,

“It is as much a part of his legacy as it is mine. He saw a future for this sport that few others saw.”

Harrington claimed that “if it wasn’t for him women’s boxing would have progressed earlier than it has.”

“It’s hard to keep looking up to someone when the father was more or less holding me and holding women’s boxing back. The rest of us were seen as hangers-on,” she told The Irish Independent.

“Pete Taylor is a great coach but if it wasn’t for him women’s boxing would have progressed earlier than it has. He did what he wanted for his daughter. A lot of female boxers suffered because of it.”

Peter Taylor Kellie Harrington

Pete Taylor rejected Harrington’s claims. In a lengthy statement posted on his personal Instagram account, he wrote:

“First I would like to congratulate the Irish female boxing team for their success in the latest championships. Ireland’s female boxers are now as feared as the male Cubans.

“I don’t usually respond on social media but I feel I have to address the lies and scandal Kellie Harrington has tried to create regarding my role in female boxing, to generate book sales.

“I’d like to start by stating that I am proud of my role and efforts both with the IABA and AIBA working to get female boxing recognised and for spearheading campaigns to get female boxing sanctioned in Ireland and as an Olympic sport.

“Kelly would unlikely be in the position she is in today if it wasn’t for that: FACT.

“I travelled with Katie to every boxing tournament around the world, Katie was a trailblazer for women’s boxing both domestically and internationally. She became a global Women’s Boxing Ambassador AIBA.

“As quoted by former AIBA president Wu ‘Katie has inspired a new generation of women boxers and the acceptance of women’s boxing in the Olympic program has been in part, a result of her outstanding achievements’: FACT.

“You said ‘you were not given opportunities’ yet you were away on trips with Irish boxing trips many times; Liverpool, Holland, Poland, to name a few. You were beaten in a box off in the national stadium to go to the worlds in Barbados by Allana Murphy. So you had many opportunities: FACT.

“You claimed ‘I stopped you boxing’ which is another lie because no coach has the autonomy to select teams, which is a contributing factor as to why Billy Walsh and Bernard Dunne left AIBA. Everyone in boxing is well aware that central council select all national teams and not coaches: FACT.

“You said Katie wasn’t allowed to spar girls. Katie mainly sparred men but occasionally would spar girls when the time was right in camp for that spar, that’s good coaching. You yourself stated that I am a good coach which is contradictory to other statements you made: FACT.

Katie Taylor's father, Peter Taylor, has responded to Kellie Harrington's criticism of him in her new book, where she claimed that "if it wasn’t for him women’s boxing would have progressed earlier than it has."

“You said ‘I asked you to move up in weight to avoid Katie.’ That is an absolute lie, you had 10 to 12 years to challenge Katie at 60kg, a choice you and your club made, you chose to weigh in at a different weight admitted by yourself in [the] article above, stating that you didn’t have the confidence to box Katie, another lie, another FACT.

“You said ‘I didn’t let you train with Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlon’ that was not my decision, that invitation had to come from the high-performance unit, not me, it is up to your club to put a proposal in requesting [the] same, FACT.

“You should now step up to the plate, something you have not done previously and give the current world champion, Amy Broadhurst a box off instead of avoiding her in the national championships (sounds familiar.)

“You may be Olympic champion, a great achievement, but you are currently the third best 60kg boxer in the country behind Katie, and amateur world champ Amy Broadhurst.

“I know you need to sell your book and need a villain in the story, but don’t use me as a reason for your insecurities over your lack of courage in stepping up to the plate when you have had plenty of opportunities to do so.”

Harrington has yet to respond to Pete or Katie Taylor.

Related links: