Float like a Butterfly, Sting like Katie; 2012 OLYMPICS HISTORY MADE
Byline: MICK SCULLY; MAURICE FITZMAURICE
SHE admitted being so nervous she could not eat yesterday.
But Katie Taylor blew away the suffocating pressure of an Olympic final to bag an incredible gold.
As her arm was raised aloft inside London's heaving ExCeL Arena, she forced the world to stand up and take notice - and opened the door to a professional career.
But within minutes of that gleaming medal being hung around her neck, the 26-year-old defied her coach dad Pete Taylor's wishes, vowing: I'm not quitting yet.
She told the Daily Mirror: "My dad wants me to stop. But I have no intentions at all to stop boxing. There's another 10 years left in me. I'm definitely going to continue. I'll take a few weeks off, but I'll continue to box.
"But I don't know what I'm going to do, whether to turn professional or stay amateur. I'll sit down and talk about that, and make a decision in the next few weeks.
"I don't really know much about women's professional boxing. Competition in amateur boxing is probably a lot better.
"But if someone comes dreamed to me and offers me a contract for professional boxing, I'll have to consider it."
It took just eight short, frenetic minutes, but the Bray Bombshell battered her way through to clinch an unforgettable 10-8 victory over Russia's Sofya Ochigava.
Speaking after the fight, with the roars of thousands of fans ringing in her ears, Katie admitted she couldn't believe she would soon be returning home with Olympic gold. She added: "I dreamed of this moment so many times before and now I can't believe it. I just want to thank everyone for all their prayers.
"I said it yesterday as well, but all the prayers over the last week. I'd be nothing without God. I'm here because of the grace of God and Jesus in my life. And without him, I'd be nothing really."
From the very first punch, the packed 10,000 crowd was kept alight with cheers from the huge Irish crowd.
But knockout Katie revealed she was so nervous before setting foot into the ring - that she was unable to eat for the whole day.
She said: "It's the most nervous I've ever been for a fight, naturally enough. I had a knot in my stomach all day.
But I just tried to stay calm and composed. …