It has long been said that the skill shown by Katie Taylor in an exhibition bout at the 2007 Men’s World Championships in Chicago was one of the reasons that women’s boxing was eventually included in the 2012 London Olympics.
That day, Taylor scored a first round stoppage win over Canada’s three-time PanAmerican champion Katie Dunn, racing into a 15-0 lead forcing the bout to be waved off under the old ‘outclassed’ rule.
In Ireland especially, Taylor helped prove that women’s amateur/Olympic boxing was a serious, high-level, sport, and now the Bray woman plans to do the same for the pro side of the game.
The 30 year old this week agreed terms with British promotional behemoth Matchroom Sport, and while the Wicklow woman is targeting personal glory, she also wants to help drive the sport as a whole into the limelight.
Describing her plans, Taylor said that “when I first dreamt of Olympic gold, female boxing was practically unknown. 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.”
Taylor is in good hands for her pro journey, with the promotional backing of Matchroom and the managerial guidance of Brian Peters – whose shows she memorably appeared on during the golden age of terrestrially televised boxing in Ireland. Her bout versus Caroline Barry on the Bernard Dunne-Ricardo Cordoba undercard at the Point Depot was especially notable, garnering huge national attention.
Peters said “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with Katie again.”
“She’s is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s greatest ever athletes, a national treasure and a true pioneer for women’s sport. She was hugely instrumental in getting women’s boxing into the Olympics and now she wants to make a similar impact on the professional side of the sport.”