Katie Taylor explains the unique reason she always preferred boxing to soccer
If things were different, then Katie Taylor could easily be heading to the World Cup in Australia this summer, as part of the Irish women's soccer team.
She played for Ireland at under-17 and under-19 level, before going onto make 11 appearances for the senior team between 2006 and 2009.
But as the Bray woman revealed in an exclusive interview with JOE on Thursday, her love for football never came close to her love for boxing.
Boxing was always her number one. Still, the 36-year-old looks back fondly on her days in the green jersey, and says that many of her best friends today date back to her days as a soccer player.
“It’s like Tony Yeboah back in the day!”
Katie Taylor reacts to scoring screamers for Ireland ⚽️
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"I have amazing memories of it. It was such a huge part of my life growing up, I loved it and it's something that all my best friends come from back in the football days.
"I wasn't a huge goalscorer," says Taylor, "I think those were the only two goals I ever scored for the Irish team," she adds as, in an interview with Peter Carroll, she re-watches the goals she scored for Ireland.
None-the-less, there was never a question of her leaving the boxing for the football.
"Do you know what, it wasn't actually a tough decision for me in the end," says Taylor.
"Boxing was always my number one passion growing up and I just loved the individual aspect of it.
"You're in there on your own, not relying on other players around you to show up or put the work in.
"And I just think you learn so much about yourself in the boxing ring, that you just don't learn in any other sport.
"The discipline of it, have you got a good chin, how deep can you dig in a fight, I just love that one-to-one aspect so in the end, it wasn't a tough decision.
"I knew all along that this was the one sport I dreamed about. I always dreamed about bringing back an Olympic Gold medal as well."
Taylor says she will watch the women's world cup this year with great hope and expectation for the Irish team.
"I think we have some of the best players in the world in that team, the likes of Katie McCabe, an amazing player.
But they've an amazing team, a solid team, a very experienced team as well. I think they have the potential to do very well, and I'm very excited to see how they get on."