Laila Ali hails ‘ultimate female icon’ Katie Taylor


Katie Taylor is continuing to make waves in women’s professional boxing and help drive the sport on – and her contributions have not gone unnoticed.

The Wicklow lightweight, who was instrumental in the inclusion of women’s boxing at the Olympics where she won the inaugural 60kg gold, has claimed the WBA and IBF titles since turning pro in 2016.

With the profile of the sport rising and the number of ‘names’ increasing, Taylor looks set for some massive fights over the next few years and the Bray boxer’s achievements have been hailed by none other than Laila Ali.

In a post on Instagram, the 40-year-old women’s boxing legend labelled Taylor her ‘ultimate female icon right now’.

Ali described how “I retired from boxing in 2007 and one of the new women in the game who constantly inspires me, and I know she’s going to be amazing, is a young girl named Katie Taylor.”

“She won the Olympics and now she’s pro and she’s representing women’s boxing so well. ”

Ali, daughter of ‘The Greatest’ Muhammad, was one of the first ‘stars’ of women’s boxing back in the 1990s and 2000s.

Along with the likes of Chrissy Martin, Jane Couch, Lucia Rijker, Ann Wolfe, and Ireland’s Deirdre Gogarty, Ali featured on many major cards. Her clash with Jackie Frazier-Lyde, daughter of her father’s pro rival, labelled Ali-Frazier IV, was the first main-event pay-per-view fight between women.

Ali retired undefeated from the pro game, finishing with a record of 24(21)-0. During her time in the ring she won titles at super middleweight and light heavyweight from the bodies that first sanctioned women’s fights and later claimed the WBC 168lbs title in 2005 once the ‘Big Four’ entered the female realm.

32-year-old Taylor [10(5)-0] is currently in Boston ahead of a press conference today for her next fight.

The Matchroom boxer defends her titles on October 20th at the TD Garden in the city versus Puerto Rican former featherweight champ Cindy Serrano on a bill which also features Wexford heavyweight Niall Kennedy and a world title shot for Belfast super feather James Tennyson versus IBF champ Tevin Farmer.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie