Katie Taylor (born 2 July 1986) is an Irish athlete who has competed in association football and boxing. As a professional boxer she has held the WBA female lightweight title since 2017.
A prodigious amateur boxer, Taylor won five consecutive gold medals at the Women’s World Championships, gold six times at the European Championships, and gold five times at the European Union Championships. Hugely popular in Ireland, she is credited with raising the profile of women’s boxing at home and abroad. Regarded as the outstanding Irish athlete of her generation, she was the flag bearer for Ireland at the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony before going on to win an Olympic gold medal in the lightweight division. Taylor turned professional in 2016 under Matchroom Boxing, and is known for her fast-paced, aggressive boxing style.
- 2005 | European Amateur Boxing Championship
Taylor’s first noteworthy success was at the 2005 European Amateur Championships, in Tønsberg, Norway. She won the gold medal, defeating Eva Wahlström of Finland in the final of the 60 kg lightweight class.
- 2005 | AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship
Later in 2005, at the World Amateur Championships in Podolsk, Russia, Taylor advanced to the quarter-finals in the 60 kg weight class. Here she lost against Kang Kum-Hui, who remains the only boxer to have defeated Taylor at the World Championships.
- 2006 | European Amateur Boxing Championship
At the 2006 European Amateur Championships in Warsaw, Poland, Taylor won her second successive gold medal by stopping reigning world champion Tatiana Chalaya of Russia, also collecting the tournament’s Best Boxer award.
- 2006 | AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship
At the 2006 World Women’s Boxing Championship, contested in New Delhi, India, Taylor became Ireland’s first World Champion, defeating Chalaya again in the semi-final and then Erica Farias of Argentina in the 60 kg final.
- 2007 | European Amateur Boxing Championship
In 2007, she won her third successive European Championship title in Denmark.
- 2008 | Women’s European Union Amateur Boxing Championships
2008 saw Taylor win her first European Union gold medal, contested in August in Liverpool, England. Here she defeated Cindy Orain of France.
- 2008 | AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship
Taylor went on to claim her second World title at the 2008 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship, contested in November at Ningbo, China. In the 60 kg weight class, she defeated China’s Cheng Dong in the final match which was her 100th bout.
- 2009 | Entering the Public Eye
On 21 March 2009 at The Dublin O2, Taylor won a 27–3 win over three-time Pan-American champion Caroline Barry of the United States on the undercard of a pro WBA super bantamweight world title fight between Bernard Dunne of Ireland and Ricardo Cordoba of Panama. Speaking after the fight, Taylor, who had stopped Barry in the final of the 2006 World Championships in New Delhi, said she was stunned by the welcome she received from Irish boxing fans. She said: “I couldn’t believe the reception I got – it was an amazing experience for me. I knew it was going to be a tough fight and well done to her for never backing off.”
- 2009 | Women’s European Union Amateur Boxing Championships
Taylor defended her European Union title in 2009. She beat home favourite, Bulgaria’s Denitsa Elisayeva, in the July tournament hosted in Pazardzhik.
- 2010 | AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship
On 18 September 2010, Taylor went on to claim her third successive World title at the 2010 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship, in Barbados. In the 60 kg weight class, she again defeated China’s Cheng Dong in the final match. This was Taylor’s 100th career win.
- 2011 | EU Women Boxing Championships
Taylor won the Gold Medal at the EU Women Boxing Championships in Katowice, Poland in 2011.
- 2012 | AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship
On 19 May 2012, Taylor won her fourth successive World title at the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship, in Qinhuangdao China. In the 60 kg weight class, she defeated Russian southpaw Sofya Ochigava.
- 2014 | AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships
On 24 November 2014, Taylor won her fifth straight lightweight title in South Korea at the 2014 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, defeating Yana Allekseevna of Azerbaijan. The final scoreline was 40-36, 39-37, 39-37 in her favour.
- 2015 | European Games
On 27 June 2015, Taylor won the lightweight title in Azerbaijan at the inaugural European Games, defeating Estelle Mosely of France. The final scoreline was 36-40 36-40 37-39 in her favour.
- 2016 | AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships
On 24 May 2016, Taylor qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics after defeating Victoria Torres in the quarter-finals of the lightweight division at the 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. Two days later, Taylor lost to Estelle Mossely in the semi-finals which ended her quest for a sixth World title in a row.
Taylor made her professional debut on 26 November 2016, at Wembley Arena in London, stopping Karina Kopinska in three rounds. On 28 October 2017, Taylor won her first professional world title, the vacant WBA female lightweight title after defeating Anahi Sanchez at the Principality Stadium. On 13 December 2017, Taylor retained her lightweight world title after a defeating Jessica McCaskill in a ten-round contest at York Hall