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Taylor: I'm aware of country's expectation

IRISH boxing superstar Katie Taylor insists she is taking nothing for granted as she bids to further her extraordinary career with an Olympic title in London next month.

Taylor has holed herself away in a training camp to prepare for the tournament, and her non-appearance at two organised press days raised fears the 26-year-old could be feeling the strain.

But the four-time world champion, who is the best medal hope among a strong squad of six Ireland boxers heading to London, issued a statement in which she insisted her preparations remain on track.

Taylor said: "My training commitments are more demanding than ever and every session is crucial at this stage.

"For me it has been a lifelong ambition to represent my country in the Olympic Games, so I want to enjoy the privilege and take it all in. I am aware of the expectation, but nobody expects more of me than myself."

And Ireland head coach Billy Walsh backed Taylor's decision to stay out of the limelight before the team jet off to their Olympic preparation camp in Italy on Friday.

Walsh said: "This is the way Katie has managed it for a number of years. She shuts herself away from the pressure.

"Katie is the flagship of the women's sport and one of the main reasons it got into the Games. Other countries are chasing her and trying to find ways to beat her. Without improvement they would be catching up on her, but Katie continues to improve. She is only 26 and time is still on her side."

Her father and coach Peter Taylor has suggested that the 26- year-old may hang up her gloves after the Games.

"I'd like to see her, whatever happens, retire," he said. "It is hard. She is sparring with the lads every week and she has no kind of life outside boxing.

"That's what I would like to see, what Katie would like to do might be different."