Katie Taylor is less than two weeks away from registering what she believes will be the greatest of her many successes.
The fighter, who is credited with changing the face of female boxing, could become Ireland’s first ever undisputed world champion and has said that achievement would eclipse her various amateur success including winning London 2012 Olympic gold.
However, while defeating Delfine Persoon in Madison Square Garden on June 1 to collect all the lightweight tiles would be top of the list of accolades it seems it won’t be the thing that gives the Bray native the most satisfaction in terms of her career.
Taylor revealed that she gets real joy and indeed satisfaction from the current state of female boxing in Ireland. The five time World amateur champion rejoices and feels a sense of pride when she see’s female packed boxing gyms or females enjoying genuine international success at home.
“It’s amazing actually. I think it has been the most satisfying thing about this whole journey. When I started boxing as a 10 or 11 year old there were no female boxers at all in Ireland. I think I was the only one that I knew of around that time.
“Now if you look at any club it’s packed with female boxers and they all have a dream of becoming an Olympic Champion or a world champion. That to me has been amazing. They don’t have to go through the same battles and struggles that I had to go to growing up. To be a positive role model to those girls coming up is everything to me,” Taylor explained to Matchroom.
Although the 32 year old expresses her satisfaction at being a ‘positive role model’ to females young and old her humility won’t allow her to take the credit for positive change to the extent she should.
The IBF, WBA and WBO world champion punched down doors that previously prevented females getting the opportunities and recognition they deserved in the sport and made it possible for the current climate to exist.
Such was Taylor’s talent that it wasn’t long before she was seen as an equal if not better among male fighters in the know, that talent was then the key factor is ensuring female boxing was allowed at the Olympics – and her success there allowed young women around the world to dream.
The Matchroom fighter, who is often voted Ireland’s most respected sports star, has then managed to help change things up in the pro ranks. Taylor has become a world rather than just Irish star and has continued to show there is no skills divide between male and female punching. Financially the sport has benefited too with her opponents being paid more than 100 times there career highest purse to fight her.
It speaks volumes of the character of Taylor that she is so happy to see others succeed and delights in the fact the next generation don’t have to face the well documented obstacles she overcame just to be able to step in a ring.
However, it’s not all about others or being a role model, the Brian Peters managed talent admits she wants success for herself too.
Indeed, the Wicklow native wants to be known as the best in the world and is determined to ensure she is a fighter remembered throughout history.
“I always wanted to make history in this sport. I want to be the best and I want to be recoginised as the best. I am a very competitive person and I am also as I said a very quiet person. The other side to me is my competitiveness and I want to be the best every time I step into that ring. I want to perform well. I want people to talk about my performances and I want to make history in this sport.”