I RETIRED with the injury after the Commonwealth Games. I missed out on the World championships because I had to get my toe repaired and missing out on the Worlds meant that I wouldn’t get enough ranking points. Qualification’s going to be seeded and it would have made my qualification route harder.
The injury happened during the bout at the Commonwealths. I just heard a snap. I thought I’d broken my toe. During the fight you do feel it. But you don’t feel it as much, after I was in agony. I remember sitting back in the corner and lifting my feet up and while the coach was talking I was thinking, ‘My toe’s killing me.’
That as well was the last straw. I was sick of getting myself to my best and it not working out. I could have stayed for the European Games because I’d already qualified for them from the Europeans in 2014 but after having so long out it was hard to get myself motivated to get back in because of that.
One of the highlights of my career, as weird as it sounds, was the Olympic Games, even the losing fight. Because of the crowd atmosphere and all that. It was good to be a part of it anyway but the atmosphere in the Katie Taylor fight was just unbelievable. It was above everything.
I thought all the support was for me and then the next minute I’ve seen a big sea of green and just the noise. As soon as you get in there and the bell goes, you don’t even hear anything. Just walking in the hairs stood up on the back of my neck.
I knew I had to do my best and that’s what I did. I’d boxed her in a tournament just before the Olympics and I think she ended up beating me 5-3, because it was the computer points system then. She won the first two rounds 4-0 and the last two rounds I won 3-1 so they were saying if you started like you finished last time it would be a different result. I’m kind of known for starting slow.
At the time I think Fred Evans had just beaten the world number two, Anthony Ogogo had just beaten the world number one and everyone was beating everyone. I thought if there’s going to be a time it’s now.
I was thinking everyone else is doing it, I can do it. It’s London, I’ve got nothing to lose.
Katie Taylor’s been at a high level for so long but I do think people are catching up, but whether anyone can overtake her I’m not too sure. But people are definitely catching up. I remember watching her when I first got on to the international scene. Everyone in the whole tournament used to come out and watch Katie Taylor, everyone was in awe of how good she was and that raised everyone’s standard. And Sofia Ochigava to be fair, that’s who everyone was watching and they were well ahead of everyone else. But at that time we were in different weight divisions. Then as the years have gone on, everyone’s trying to find little chinks in her armour. I don’t think there’s a person that can beat at the minute but people are getting closer and closer.
I still do a lot of work around boxing, going to schools and coaching courses. I don’t think you can ever 100% walk away from boxing because it has been such a massive part of your life for so long.
But there will be no comeback. The only reason I’d do that is to try and make weight again! But no, I definitely wouldn’t.