Domesitc abuse survivor, campaigner, politician, world title challenger – the interesting story of Katie Taylor’s next opponent

Nonito Donaire, Kiko Martinez, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, even Sergio Martinez, not to mention a host of regular journey men to these shores, Irish fight fans have proved they have no issue adopting an away fighter or an opponent for one of their own over the years.

Showing respect pre and post fight, displaying supreme talent or bringing balls to the table are three of the ways to ingratiate yourself to Irish fight fans.

However, none of the about have seemed to work for Katie Taylor’s foes. Eva Wahlstrom aside, the wider Taylor fan continues to have very little time for the Bray fighters former foes.

Not that all are disliked and vilified, but none have become honorary members of that adopted away fighter group.

That may all be about to change over the coming weeks.

Miriam Gutierrez is next up for a fighter Ireland feels very protective off – and has not only waxed lyrical about how talented Taylor is, but has a back story that can only command respect.

Gutierrez wasn’t part of the 2020 ‘mega fight’ plan laid out by Team Katie Taylor, but challenges the champion on top of a November 14 card.

The Spaniard doesn’t compare in terms of notoriety to some of the names dropped throughout this year, but is possibly the most deserving of a break.

The fighter, whose mouthguard is engraved with the words #genderviolence, is a domestic abuse survivor and a true fighter in and out of the ring.

Beaten up by her partner when she was pregnant with her first child, the young Spaniard has since used boxing, and more recently politics, to champion women’s rights.

Gutierrez was only 21, and eight months pregnant, when her partner at the time beat her so severely that she gave birth prematurely.

“He hit me in the face in such a way that he broke several bones in my face and I fell to the ground. What I worried about first of all was whether my daughter still had a heartbeat”, Gutierrez said.

The child is now a teenager and doing well, and has a younger brother, both of whom support their mother in her boxing career.

But that career also came after a long struggle.

The now 37-year-old initially quit boxing, but was persuaded back into the game by her coach she has since gone on to win the European title and become mandatory challenger for her ‘hero’ Katie Taylor.

Outside of the ring she is a domestic violence campaigner and gives lectures in schools on gender violence and bullying.

The lightweight fighter also secured election to a local counsel just outside Madrid and has a much bigger platform from which to spread the women’s rights word.
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If all that isn’t enough to earn affection and make ‘La Reyna’ one of those more favoured opponents the fact she is a massive fan of one of Ireland’s greatest ever sports people should get her over the line.

Speaking previously she said: “I would like to fight against the greatest, which is Katie Taylor. I would like that very much because she is world class.”

“She has been in London, Brazil and at the Olympics and now she’s become a pro. She has a lot of titles and she is a world champion.”

Fighting Taylor would not just be dream for the domestic abuse campaigner because of the titles on offer. It turns out the Matchroom fighter is her hero.

When asked who her favourite fighter was she replied,

“In women’s competition is Katie Taylor. That is why I really want to fight her. And in men’s boxing, (Vasyl) Lomachenko.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com