Katie Taylor

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Katie Taylor
Katie Taylor 2012 (cropped).jpg
Statistics
Rated at Lightweight
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Nationality  Ireland
Born (1986-07-02) 2 July 1986 (age 32)[1]
Bray, Wicklow, Ireland
Stance Orthodox

Katie Taylor (born 2 July 1986) is an Irish sportswoman who has represented Ireland at both boxing and association football. She is currently the Irish, European, World and Olympic champion in the 60 kg division. 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,[2] 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.[3]

Family

Taylor was born and raised in Bray, County Wicklow and is the daughter of Bridget (née Cranley) and Peter Taylor. Her father is originally from Leeds, West Yorkshire and he first visited Bray to work with his father in the amusement arcades on Bray seafront. After meeting and marrying Bridget, Peter Taylor decided to settle in Ireland. In 1986 he was an Irish senior light heavyweight champion boxer. Originally an electrician by trade, Peter eventually became Katie's full–time boxing coach. He also coached Adam Nolan who, like Katie, also represented Ireland at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Bridget also developed an interest in boxing and became one of the earliest female referees and judges in Ireland. Katie has three older siblings – Lee, Sarah and Peter. Her brother, Dr. Peter Taylor, is a professor of maths at Trinity College, Dublin. Together with members of her family, Taylor attends St. Mark's Church, Dublin and she is a member of the Pentecostalist faith.[4][5][6][7]

Education

Between 1999 and 2005 Taylor attended St. Kilian's Community School in Bray. Her three older siblings all attended the same school. As well as boxing and playing association football, as a schoolgirl Taylor also played Gaelic football and camogie with her local GAA clubs, Bray Emmets and Fergal Ógs. She was also a member of Bray Runners, a local athletics club. Several American colleges reportedly offered her sports scholarships while she was still a pupil at St Killian's. However she opted instead to attend UCD. Although UCD is well known for sports scholarships, Taylor qualified via her Leaving Cert results. However, as Taylor's sporting career began to take off, she chose not to complete her studies at UCD.[6][7]

Boxing

Early years

Taylor first began boxing in 1998, aged 11. Her father coached herself and her two older brothers, Lee and Peter, at St Fergal's Boxing Club, which operated out of a former boathouse in Bray. At 15, she fought the first officially-sanctioned female boxing match in Ireland at the National Stadium and defeated Alanna Audley from Belfast.[6][8]

List of title fights

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.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12][13]

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.[14]

2012 | Summer Olympics
Taylor (in red) boxes at the Olympics

Taylor qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the first time women's boxing had been considered for inclusion. Crowds gathered on the streets of her hometown Bray to watch her progress on giant screens erected especially for the occasion.[15] Coddle released a single called "Katie Taylor Ireland's Boxing Legend".[16] The song reaches number 42 in the Irish Charts.

Taylor's first appearance at the 2012 Summer Olympics came on 6 August, after a first round bye. She achieved an impressive 26-15 victory (R1: 5-2. R2: 5-5, R3: 9-4, R4: 7-4) over Great Britain's Natasha Jonas, booking her place in the semi final and guaranteeing her, at least, an Olympic bronze medal.[17][18] Fans of Taylor produced record noise levels at the Olympics.[19]

In the semi-final on 8 August 2012, she proved far too good for Tajikistan's Mavzuna Chorieva and won in a 17-9 victory (R1: 3-1, R2: 4-2, R3: 6-3, R4: 4-3), booking her place in the final and guaranteeing her, at least, an Olympic silver medal.[20][21]

Taylor defeated Russia's Sofya Ochigava in the final bout by 10-8 (R1: 2-2; R2: 1-2; R3: 4-1; R4: 3-3) on 9 August 2012, winning an Olympic gold medal, and becoming the first ever Olympic female lightweight champion.[22][23]

On her return to Dublin with the rest of the Olympic squad she got into the cockpit of the plane and leaned out the window waving an Irish flag.[24]

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.[25][26] The final scoreline was 40-36, 39-37, 39-37 in her favour.[27]

2015 | European Games

On 27 June 2015, Taylor won the lightweight title in Azerbaijan at the inaugural European Games, defeating Estelle Mosely of France.[28] The final scoreline was 36-40 36-40 37-39 in her favour.[28]

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.[29] Two days later, Taylor lost to Estelle Mossely in the semi-finals which ended her quest for a sixth World title in a row.[30]

Association football

Katie Taylor
Personal information
Playing position Midfielder / Forward
Youth career
St Feargal's
Newtown Juniors
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Lourdes Celtic
St James's Gate
St Catherine's
Peamount United
National team
2006–2009 Republic of Ireland 11 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Club career

As a schoolgirl, Taylor played association football for St Feargal's and Newtown Juniors in the Wicklow and District Schoolboys League. She also represented the league in the Kennedy Cup, an inter–league competition, and won the league's Player of the Year award.[7] At senior club level, Taylor played in the Dublin Women's Soccer League for Lourdes Celtic, St James's Gate, St Catherine's and Peamount United.[31] Taylor played for St James's Gate in the 2003 DWSL Premier Cup final against Dundalk City. Gate lost 3–2 after extra time.[32] Taylor also played for Peamount United in the 2005 FAI Women's Cup final. However Peamount lost 1–0 to Dundalk City.[33] In 2009 Taylor was a member of the St Catherine's squad that reached the FAI Women's Cup final. However her boxing commitments saw her out on the final itself.[34][35] In 2010 together with Nicola Sinnott, Aine O'Gorman, Sara Lawlor and Louise Quinn, Taylor was a member of the Peamount United squad that won a treble, winning the Dublin Women's Soccer League, the DWSL Premier Cup and the FAI Women's Cup.[36][37][38]

International

Taylor represented the Republic of Ireland women's national football team at under–17, under–19 and senior levels. She was 14 when she played for the under–17s and 15 when she started playing for the under–19s. According to Taylor, her boxing training helped her football career because it made her physically strong enough to bridge the age gaps.[7] On 25 September 2003 Taylor scored four goals for the Republic of Ireland under–19s in a 2004 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship qualifier against Macedonia.[39] Between 2006 and 2009 Taylor made 11 appearances and scored 2 goals for the senior team. She made her senior international debut on 22 April 2006 against Switzerland in a 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier at Richmond Park. The Republic of Ireland won 2–0. In 2006 Taylor also played for the Republic of Ireland in a prestige away friendly against the United States. Taylor scored her first senior international goal on 1 April 2007 in a UEFA Women's Euro 2009 qualifier against Hungary at Tolka Park. Taylor's goal helped the Republic of Ireland win 2–1. She scored her second goal in the same qualifying campaign in a 4–1 defeat against in Italy on 16 February 2008.[40][41] She was also sent-off in the same game. She made her final international appearance on 24 September 2009 when she came on as substitute in a 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan.

Television

In 2002, at the age of 15, she appeared on RTÉ's Sport Stream and discussed her dream of one day appearing at the Olympics.[42]

She was a coach on RTÉ's Charity Lords of the Ring in 2009.

Taylor appeared in a Lucozade Sport advertisement in 2011 alongside English rapper Tinie Tempah and American musician Travis Barker.

Katie also has a fondness for the Irish language and appeared on Bernard Dunne's TV program ' Bród Club ' promoting Irish.

Memoir

Taylor's "illustrated memoir", with which she was helped by The Irish Times sports-writer, Johnny Watterson and titled My Olympic Dream, was published by Simon & Schuster for the 2012 Christmas market.[43]

Awards and honours

Individual

Boxing medals

Year Tournament Venue Result Event
2005 European Amateur Championships Tønsberg, Norway 1st 60 kg
2006 European Amateur Championships Warsaw, Poland 1st 60 kg
2006 World Amateur Championship New Delhi, India 1st 60 kg
2007 European Amateur Championships Vejle, Denmark 1st 60 kg
2008 European Union Amateur Championships Liverpool, England 1st 60 kg
2008 World Amateur Championship Ningbo, People's Republic of China 1st 60 kg
2009 European Union Amateur Championships Pazardzhik, Bulgaria 1st 60 kg
2009 European Amateur Championships Mykolaiv, Ukraine 1st 60 kg
2010 European Union Amateur Championships Keszthely, Hungary 1st 60 kg
2010 World Amateur Championship Barbados 1st 60 kg
2011 European Union Amateur Championships Katowice, Poland 1st 60 kg
2011 European Amateur Championships Rotterdam, Netherlands 1st 60 kg
2012 World Amateur Championship Qinhuangdao, China 1st 60 kg
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 1st 60 kg
2013 European Union Amateur Championships Keszthely, Hungary 1st 60 kg
2014 European Amateur Championships Bucharest, Romania 1st 60 kg
2014 World Amateur Championship Jeju, South Korea 1st 60 kg
2015 European Games Baku, Azerbaijan 1st 60 kg
2016 World Amateur Championship Astana, Kazakhstan 3rd 60 kg

See also

References

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External links

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Ciara Peelo
Flagbearer for  Ireland
2012 London
Succeeded by
Paddy Barnes