Katie Taylor believes Ireland's boxing success will continue despite the departure of Billy Walsh as head coach ©Getty Images

Irish boxing star Katie Taylor admits there is sadness following the departure of Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) head coach Billy Walsh, who was announced as the coach of the United States women’s boxing team last week after lengthy contract talks broke down.

It had been claimed that Walsh had been involved in contract negotiations with the IABA for eight months and, despite a contract being agreed between the Irish Sports Council (ISC), the IABA and Walsh, it was never presented to the national governing body's Board for formal approval.

Walsh had guided the Irish boxing team to four medals at London 2012, including Taylor's victory in the women's 60 kilograms, the country's first Olympic gold medal for 16 years. 

He was also in charge of the team at the AIBA World Championships in Doha last month where bantamweight Michael Conlan became the country’s first-ever gold medallist at the event.

Taylor is confident, however, that Walsh's departure will not affect the Irish team's chances of success in the future. 

Ireland's Katie Taylor won the best female title from the European Games at the ANOC Awards
Ireland's Katie Taylor won the best female title from the European Games at the ANOC Awards ©Getty Images

“Everyone is really saddened, we knew there were problems going on over the last few months,” Taylor told insidethegames here after being honoured by the Association of National Olympic Committees for her gold medal winning performance at the inaugural European Games in Baku. 

“We were obviously hoping that everything would be resolved but it wasn’t to be.

“We are very lucky to have a great support network in place and the success of Irish boxing does not come down to one man, he will be sorely missed but we have to stay focused and get on with things.”

The Irish star still has to qualify to defend her title at Rio 2016, the second Olympics to include women’s boxing competition, and believes the standard of competition will prove even tougher than London 2012. 

“At the European Games Azerbaijan's Yana Alekseevna was strong and Estelle Mosely of France was very strong," said Taylor. 

“I don’t think there are any easy fights out there, so I will have to hit my peak form.

“There will be certainly no room to make mistakes out there.”

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October 2015:
 Billy Walsh officially named as USA Boxing women's coach following debacle over contract with IABA
October 2015: Irish Amateur Boxing Association face criticism over resignation of head coach
September 2015: Irish Amateur Boxing Association rejects reports head coach Billy Walsh has resigned
February 2014: Professionalism threatens Irish medal hopes at Rio 2016, warns head boxing coach
December 2012: Irish boxing coaches Walsh and Taylor share Philips Sports Manager of the Year