News came flooding in last week that Ireland’s beloved Olympian, Katie Taylor, had finally turned her back on amateur boxing by confirming her move to the professional boxing ranks. On the 26th October the news was confirmed, and the former Olympic gold medallist signed a contract with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing organisation.
“When I first dreamt of Olympic gold, female boxing was practically unknown,” said Taylor, “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.”
“Today marks a significant day for our sport with the news that Katie is joining the professional ranks,” added English boxing promoter Eddie Hearn. “She is one of the most decorated amateur boxers of all time, and a public icon in Ireland. I met Katie for the first time last week and was fascinated by her desire to not just win world titles, but to break down the barriers of women’s boxing, she is an incredible role model.”
Irish boxing fans received more great news soon after as it was announced Katie’s debut fight will be at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London on November 26th. She will also fight on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s second defence of his IBF World Heavyweight title at the Manchester Arena on December 10th.
It is exciting times for Katie, as she leaves the days of amateur boxing behind her. Taylor’s astonishing success in the amateurs sees her widely regarded as the most outstanding Irish athlete of her generation, garnering five World titles, six European titles and an Olympic gold in her 15-year amateur career. The country now holds its breath, awaiting her debut, which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports on 26th November.