Katie Taylor is not just the Queen of boxing she is the Queen of giving back in a sport that renowned for paying it forward.
In her time between fights Taylor often does her bit for charity and more recently has been providing special moments for young aspiring fighters.
Dunboyne BC youngster Ella Thompson was surprised by the Undisputed lightweight champion on the Late Late Toy Show late last year – and got a one on one session with Irish sporting sensation. There have been plenty of others to get the same treatment away from the cameras.
This week it was Ava Henry’s turn. The Dublin Dockland’s fighter was surprised by her hero on FM104’s Nobby and Jim Jim show.
European Schoolboy/girl silver medal was in the headlines during lock down for raising money for charity.
The Irish underage international did a half marathon around Kilmore and more significantly raised funds for Jigsaw, a charity that deals with children’s mental health.
Speaking on social media post the run, Henry, who received well wishes from the great and good of boxing as well as other sporting fields prior to the event, said: “I just want to say I big thank you to everyone who came out to my run today really appreciate it, means a lot, everyone supporting me. I wouldn’t of been able to push through without yous all. Thanks for all the lovely messages I’ve gotten over the past few days, also want to say thanks to everyone who donated money, it was for a really good cause and I’m very grateful.”
Henry was brought on to the radio show under the guise she was going to be able to send a video message to her hero. However, she was surprised when Taylor appeared on the call and plied the prospect with praise as well as giving some valuable advice.
The Irish amateur female fight scene is booming at present and it has to be said, Taylor should go down as the mother for the majority of current and future success.
Not only is the Olympics now a dream for so many female boxers because of Taylor’s drive and brilliance, the general Taylor effect has seen an upsurge in female participation in boxing gyms.
It’s a massive element of the Bray fighters legacy. Taylor, who Deirdre Gogarty aside had no real female fight role models, no Olympians, amateur world champions or even box office pro’s to show her the path to the top. It’s a pathway she laboured to create herself and it’s now one she is sign posting for aspiring female talent, particularly in Ireland.