(Reuters) - Irish Olympic boxing champion Katie Taylor will defend her title at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games after revealing on Thursday that she had rejected lucrative professional offers to remain in the amateur ranks.

Taylor, four-times world champion, won Ireland's first untainted gold medal in 20 years in August and became one of the faces of the London Games by playing a leading role in a stunningly successful Olympic debut for women's boxing.

The former international soccer player, 26, said in August that she felt she could keep fighting for 10 more years but had Taylor turned professional, she would not have been eligible to box in Olympic competition again.

"I've been offered a few professional contracts... in the hundreds and thousands," Taylor told Irish radio station Today FM.

"The thing with professional boxing is you have to have the right promoter and the right fights. It is a cut-throat business and you're not guaranteed to get the best fights.

"Just boxing for my country and bringing back medals, there's really nothing better. I'm going to stay amateur and defend my title in Rio in four years' time."

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin, editing by Ed Osmond)