It’s a legacy night rather than legacy fight for Katie Taylor tonight.
Taylor puts her undisputed lightweight status and four lightweight world titles on the line against Spaniard Miriam Gutierrez in Wembley Arena on what is being billed as a historic night.
It’s not the match up itself that inspires ‘momentous’ billing, rather the make up of the card.
The Irish Icon returns to the top of a TV broadcast card in one of three female world title fights.
The triple another land mark for the female side of the sport and another significant Katie Taylor inspired step.
Having changed the face of amateur boxing and transforming the landscape of the sport in Ireland in particular, the two weight world champion has, over the last four years, inspired a pro woman’s revolution.
It’s got to such a point that Matchroom feel females hold enough interest to hold a prime time TV show together. Interestingly Matchroom have produced that eagerly female stacked card without the likes of now relatively known names Tasha Jonas, Chantelle Cameron, Shannon Courtney, Savanah Marshall and more.
It reflects the progress of the women’s game, which is all part of a massive sub plot to Taylor’s career and a big element to her legacy.
One of Ireland’s greatest ever sports stars is no doubt the inspiration behind gyms packed with young female fighters, the number of elite level Irish female operators, the amount of women around the world able to make a wage as pro boxers -albeit not yet on a par financially as the men – and the increase in respect levels of the women’s pugilism.
Interestingly enough it’s something she takes massive pride in and she is aware her legacy lies far beyond medals, titles and famous wins.
When asked what she would like her legacy to look like this week Taylor said:
“I suppose I want girls to grow up and do even better than I have in my career and that’s what true legacy looks like.
“I want those young girls to grow up and be multiple times world champion and multiple times Olympic champion and to considered the best ever. I just want fighters of the next generation to dream big dreams I suppose.
“When I was growing up there wasn’t any Olympics around, there wasn’t female boxers around on professional cards.
“The fact that women’s boing is here to stay is incredible and there is a female boxing fight on every professional card now is insane and the fact that that is three world title fights on the bill over the weekend.
“I never thought I would see that when I was growing up and that in itself is a great legacy. I just want young girls growing up know that they can do the same and even better. As I said that’s what true legacy is all about.”
It’s a massive turn around and one the likes of Rachel Ball and particularly Terri Harper admit is Taylor inspired.
However the transformation is quite complete.
“I’d love to see maybe the purses rising a bit more . Obviously, the exposure is there now and people are genuine interested in women’s boxing now which is fantastic,” adds Taylor.
“We have obviously made great ground over the past few years with the purses and hopefully that continues as well. As I said I want to shine a good light on women’s boxing. I want people to be talking about these fights for years to come.
“Obviously for that to happen champion has to fight against champion and the best has to fight against the best. It’s like men’s boxing – you have to make these big fights and I want to be involved in those big fights time after time.”
Picture courtesy of Mark Robinson and Matchroom