Katie Taylor's father believes Walsh's role was key to Irish boxing success
Peter Taylor claims that Ireland's boxing team and their Olympic preparations were badly hit by the departure of Billy Walsh from the set-up.
Speaking on TV3’s Sunday AM, Pete pointed the finger at the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) and the fact Billy Walsh left the association to join the US set-up back in October of 2015.
Echoing his comments from earlier this week that Taylor looked frail and was not at her peak heading into the Olympics, Taylor added that he believed that the boxers had not been rested enough.
"I think [Katie] looked a little bit tired going in to the ring. I think most of the boxers looked overtired to tell you the truth, they all looked tired. I think that’s what the main problem was. I think it has been a mess since Billy left.
"They never replaced Billy and I think it was the wrong time for Billy and the association to get into conflict when they did and they were both at fault there, coming into an Olympic year. All of the focus should have been on the boxing gearing up to an Olympics."
Taylor added that it wasn't simply Walsh's departure, but the fact that he wasn't replaced that added to the problems: "They needed a leader there, and they didn’t do that. That was the main problem. They thought all the boxers had to do was turn up. Over-confident."
A shock defeat at the Olympics against Mira Potkonen capped off a difficult year for Katie Taylor, and her father noted that her case wasn't helped by the fact that she was left without a coach in the week leading up to her fight.
The coaches had all traveled to Rio, while Katie stayed behind in Ireland, which Taylor said was a massive part of the problem: "One of the Olympic coaches should have stayed there to manage Katie. That last week of training is so important. It’s when you get your most spars in and you taper when you get over to Rio.
"I just think it was managed badly, they lacked a leader."
Watching from the outside, Taylor said “It was heart-breaking to tell the truth. But, when you’re on the outside you can’t step in anyway. There are plans in place; you can’t be interfering with the plans that have been put in place."
While he added that there needs to be a restructure, Taylor added that he wasn't interested in being part of that process as there were too many politics involved.
"The high performance team needs to be restructured now," said Taylor. "The High Performance was a flagship for IABA but there was so much conflict between IABA and the high performance. It’s like a jealousy thing. That’s what the problem is. It needs to be gelled together a little bit better and it needs to be changed."