Boxer Katie Taylor just turned
pro in 2016, but is already one of Ireland's most popular
In fact, in 2012 she was Ireland's flag bearer at the London
Olympics and went on to win an the lightweight division gold
medal. No stranger to international success in the sport, before
joining the professional ranks in 2016, Taylor also won five
consecutive gold medals at the Women's World Championships, five
gold medals at the European Union Championships, and six gold
medals at the European Championships.
Taylor was born into a boxing family in Bray, County Wicklow on
July 2, 1986. Her father Peter Taylor became the Irish senior
light heavyweight champion boxer in the year of her birth and
ultimately went on to coach her and other successful boxers of
her generation. Her mother Bridget Taylor became one of the
first female referees and boxing judges in Ireland.
Taylor is a multi-sport athlete who also played association
football and represented Ireland internationally in that sport,
making 11 appearances for the Irish national team between 2006
and 2009 and scoring two goals. However, her career as a boxer
has always taken precedent.
Taylor also represented Ireland at the 2016 Rio
Olympic lightweight title to 35-year-old Finnish
fighter Mira Potkonen.
The bout ended in a controversial split decision.
Odds makers have made Taylor 5/2 bet to have win a professional
world title by 2018.
In November 2016, Taylor made her professional debut at Wembley
Arena in London. She beat Polish boxer Karina Kopinska in three
rounds. In December, Taylor dominated Brazil's Viviane Obenauf
in her second professional fight, this time in at Manchester
Arena in Manchester, UK. This fight went the six-round distance,
but Taylor scored a knockdown in the second round and ultimately
won by a 60-53 margin on the judges' scorecard.
There's little doubt Taylor has raised the profile of women's
boxing in Ireland, but her ultimate goal appears to be
headlining boxing cards and raising interest in the women's side
of the sport worldwide. Her second pro fight was on the
undercard for the Anthony Joshua versus Eric Molina IBF World
Heavyweight title bout, but Taylor is determined to one-day
“I’d love to win a world title and unify the belts, then go up
the weights and try to win belts in numerous divisions," she
told The Irish Sun in advance of her professional debut. “I’d
like to do what Ronda Rousey has done in UFCand headline big
shows. I’d love to be a big name in professional boxing, not
just female professional boxing.
“I’d love to bring that into the women’s professional game. I
love that the UFC takes their female fighters very seriously,
and the fact there is no difference really between the male and
Taylor is widely lauded for her competitive drive, a trait that
seems to have helped other top female athletes attempting to
raise both their own personal profiles and that of female sport
in their respective countries, including Rousey and fellow
Olympic gold medalist Fatima Moreira de Melo.
De Melo was the star striker for the Dutch National Field Hockey
Team and like Taylor, became one of the most popular athletes in
her country as an amateur. With little in the way of
professional prospects for female field hockey, de Melo has
playing online poker,,
where she continues to display her own competitive drive in a
variety of ways, in what is otherwise a male-dominated industry.
De Melo has also turned to reality TV to compete and raise her
personal profile, winning the Dutch version of Survivor,
Expeditie Robinson, in 2013.
Rousey raised her own profile making appearances in a number of
American films and television shows throughout her career, and
Taylor could well be interested in the same path to increased
fame both de Melo and Rousey followed, as her career continues.
Before turning pro, Taylor became the ambassador for the
Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative
in Ireland and has secured other high profile endorsement deals
including professional service company KPMG, Adidas, Proctor and
Gamble and Kelloggs. She has also done an excellent job of
raising her profile through Social Media. Taylor's @KatieTaylor
now boasts over 78,000 followers.
For now, however, professional boxing seems to be her focus. In
turning pro, Taylor signed on with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom
promotions, becoming the first female fighter in Hearn's stable.
"When I first dreamed of Olympic gold, female boxing was
practically unknown," Taylor said at the time of her signing.
"Now because of my journey and the incredible supporters who
came along with me, female boxing is as much part of the fabric
of the Olympics as its male counterpart. Now I want to do the
same for the professional sport and I hope those who have
supported me along the way will come along with me. I'm excited
for the road ahead."
While details have yet to be confirmed, Hearn is reportedly
planning to use Taylor as the headliner in a boxing extravaganza
at Dublin's Aviva Stadium in the summer of 2017. Hearn is
apparently trying to line up a world title fight for Taylor at
that time and has been confident in her star quality since the
"Today marks a significant day for our sport with the news that
Katie is joining the professional ranks," he said at the time.
"She is one of the most decorated amateur boxers of all time and
a public icon in Ireland. I met Katie for the first time last
week and was fascinated by her desire to not just win world
titles but to break down the barriers of women's boxing, she is
an incredible role model.”
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