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Boxer Profile:  Katie Taylor
March 16, 2017
     
   
   

Boxer Katie Taylor just turned pro in 2016, but is already one of Ireland's most popular athletes.

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 headline herself.

Id 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. Id like to do what Ronda Rousey has done in UFCand headline big shows. Id love to be a big name in professional boxing, not just female professional boxing.

Id love to bring that into the womens 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 female fighters.

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 turned to
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 signing.

"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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