Lightweight Katie Taylor from Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland began boxing in 1998. She
comes from a family with a boxing background - her coach at the St. Fergal's Boxing
Club in Bray is her father Peter who was 1986 Irish senior light heavyweight champion.
Katie first made Irish boxing history - at age 15 - on October 31 2001 in
the first officially sanctioned women's bout ever held in Ireland. She fought 16-year-old Alanna Audley (now Alanna Murphy) of Belfast at the National Stadium in Dublin
in the first of three female contests on a sixteen-bout amateur card. Taylor won
over three 90-second rounds by 23-12. Irish Amateur Boxing Association President Dominic O'Rourke
called the event "a momentous day for Irish boxing."
Katie returned to National Stadium on 1 March 2002 to fight
Candy Berry of England at 57 kg as part of a show that featured an Ireland vs.
Canada senior men's tournament. Katie won this match by RSC-2.
Katie competed in the 60-kg division of the international Norway Box Cup in Oslo, Norway from 9-11
January 2004, defeating Ingrid Egner of Norway by 36-20 in the semi-final and Josefina Tengroth
of Sweden by RSCO-2 in the final. Katie's strong performance in this tournament
also earned her the Best Boxer of the Tournament award.
On February 27 2004 Katie topped the bill in an event sponsored by the Fermoy
Boys/Girls Amateur Boxing Club. The full house of boxing fans at the Fermoy
Rowing Club didn't see the rising Irish
star for long, however, as she dispatched unbeaten Welsh opponent Lorna Cooper in just 30 seconds.
"It was enough to let fans see just how good she is," insisted tournament organizer Pat
Flynn, adding "she is an exceptional boxer and will take a lot of beating in
the European championships later in the year."
On June 8-13 2004 she competed in the Third International "Italia" Women's Tournament
in Rome, Italy. Katie defeated Emanuela Pantani of Italy by a 22-6 margin in the
quarter-final, Eva Wahlström of Finland by 39-25 in the semi-final and 2002
world 60-kg champion Jennifer Ogg of Canada by 31-28 in the final to win both her
60-kg division and the Best Boxer of
At the Third Women's European Boxing Championships in Riccione, Italy, Katie suffered
a setback when she
lost to reigning 63-kg world champion Yuliya Nemtsova of Russia by a 27-12 score.
Taylor, who was Ireland's only representative in the tournament, had boxed well
against a strong opponent and was surprised by the margin of victory awarded
to the Russian. "It was most definitely a much closer fight
that the score would suggest. I actually thought that I did enough to win."
she said. (Katie's future rival Gülsüm Tatar of Turkey won the 60-kg
division of this tournament by a 25-12 margin over Eva Wahlström of Finland).
At the 20th Ahmet Comert Cup tournament on 19-25 April 2005 in Istanbul, Turkey,
Katie defeated Cindy Orain of France by a RSCO-2 but lost her next fight to home-standing Gülsüm Tatar of Turkey by a 27-21 decision.
Katie made Irish boxing history again at age 18 in May 2005 when she became the first Irish woman
to win a Gold Medal at the Senior European Championships. Competing in Tønsberg, Norway,
she stopped Eva Wahlström of Finland in the third round of their 60-kg lightweight final. Taylor held a 19-17 points
lead when the contest was stopped after Wahlström suffered an eye injury.
Taylor had opened her campaign with an impressive second round RSCO-2
stoppage over Lucie Bertaud of France, followed by a stirring semi-final clash with defending European
champion Gülsüm Tatar of Turkey. At the end of this rematch with the Turkish
boxer, the computer scoring
was a 12-12 draw but Taylor won by a razor-thin 29-28 edge in countback (punches thrown).
At the 2005 World Championships in Podolsk, Russia, Katie won her September 26 preliminary bout
over Pranamika Borah of India by a 34-22 score but she was ousted in the quarter-finals on
September 28 by Kum Hui Hang of North Korea with a
28-13 loss. (The Korean herself lost by RSCO-2 in the semi-finals to eventual world champion Tatiana Chalaya
of Chechnya, who clinched the title with a strong 49-24 win
over Taylor's own arch rival - Gülsüm Tatar of Turkey.)
Two weeks later, on October 14, 2005 Katie was at the Convention Center in London, Ontario,
Canada for a Canada vs. Ireland tournament. Katie defeated Sandra Bizier of Montreal by a 3-2 margin.
Two days later in St. Catherine's, Ontario, fought an exhibition bout with Canada's Marianne Miller.
On January 27-29, 2006 at the 27th Norway Box Cup in Oslo, Norway, Katie won her
60-kg semi-final by walkover over Lucie Bertaud of France, then defeated 2005
54-kg world silver medalist Dina Burger of Switzerland by 27-25 in the final.
On March 11, 2006 at the National Stadium in
Dublin Katie again faced Dina Burger of Switzerland.
Katie made an excellent start building
a comfortable lead and impressing ringsiders with her hand speed and footwork.
Her Swiss opponent fought back strongly in the second and third rounds but Taylor
came away with a 22-11 verdict (which some local observers thought may have been a
little harsh on the visitor).
On March 18, 2006 in Cork, Ireland
Katie won a close decision over Canadian National Junior Welterweight
Champion Katie Dunn, who is trained at the Border City Boxing Club in
Windsor, Ontario by former amateur and professional world champion
Margaret Sidoroff Canty.
On 5-12 June 2006 in the First European Union Women's Championships in Porto
Katie lost her quarter-final bout to Gülsüm Tatar of Turkey by a 24-13 margin.
(Tatar went on to win the division with a 31-15 victory over Sandra Brugger of
Switzerland in the semi-final and a 19-8 win over Anna Kasprzak of Poland in the
Katie began her run at the world title in 2006 with an excelent showing at the Witch Cup Tournament in Pecs, Hungary from 9-13 August 2006.
Edina Pezdany of Hungary by RSC-1 in her quarter-final bount, Marlene K. Nielsen of
Denmark by RSCO-2 in her semi-final and then won the Gold Medal with an RSCO-2
over Eva Wahlström of Finland.
At the 2006 European championships in September 2006 in Warsaw, Poland, Katie
won her second European Gold medal in a row with a second round stoppage of reigning world champion Tatiana Chalaya of Chechnya. This time
Taylor made short work of Chalaya, winning on the 15 point mercy rule with
the scoring at 18-3.
Katie also won the Best Boxer award in this tournament.
The win capped a big week for Katie who came through the tougher half of the draw to reach the final.
She had qualified
for the final with an 18-15 points win over her arch rival and reigning world silver
medalist Gülsüm Tatar of Turkey.
Katie Taylor (L) gets a win over Tatar (R)
Taylor said, "I thought the final would have been a much tougher fight because she is the world champion but
my preparations had gone brilliantly. I fought in Hungary in a multi nations tournament and then had a good
training camp in Norway so preparations were excellent. It was a very proud moment for me and my dad Peter who
was in my corner. I was also delighted to receive the boxer of the tournament award as I wasn't expecting it and
that was really the icing on the cake. I would like to thank everyone at the IABA after this win as they have
been behind me all the way over the last few years and have helped me enormously. I am now looking forward to
competing in World Championships in India and I am expecting to be a very tough tournament as only the best will
Irish Amateur Boxing Association High Performance Team
Director Gary Keegan said: "Katie has been immense at these Championships,
she's fought out of her skin. It's truly a world
class performance and to win the Europeans two years in a row is phenomenal.
To stop the Russian in two rounds in the way that she did was an exceptional
performance. She's proved that she is the top boxer in the world in her weight
category and this win ranks up there with the great sporting achievements of
Irish athletes in any sport."
Keegan also praised coach Peter Taylor: "Peter has worked extremely
hard with Katie and our other boxers over the last few years. This is a proud
moment for him and everyone in the Irish Amateur Boxing Association shares
in that pride and celebrates a truly remarkable victory."
At the 2006 Venus Box Cup in Vejle, Denmark
on 19–22 October 2006, Katie won her preliminary over Elena Gorshkova of Russia
by a 36-20 score, then stopped Marlene K. Nielsen of Denmark RSCO-2 in her
quarter-final and Romanian Florina Popa on the 15-point rule (17-2) in her
semi-final to set up a 60-kg final with
Lucie Beataud of France. She then had to pull out of the competition because
of an injury to her nose, looking ahead to competing in the Fourth AIBA Women's
Senior World Championships in New Delhi, India a little under a month later.
Her return to the AIBA World Championships at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi, India
saw Katie win five bouts in a row to take the 60-kg Gold
Medal. On November 18, 2006 she stopped US champion
Caroline Barry by
a 16-1 score on the 15 point mercy rule in the first round.
On November 19 she again beat Eva Wahlström of Finland, this bout being stopped
at 19-4 on the 15 point mercy rule in the second round.
On November 21 in the quarter-final Katie beat Florina Popa of Romania 20-5,
on the 15 point mercy rule in the second round.
On November 22 in the semi-final Katie defeated the defending world champion
Tatiana Chalaya of Chechnya for the second straight time, by an impressive 23-6 margin (the mercy rule was
not invoked and the bout went the distance). Tatiana appeared
wary of Katie after losing to her in the European Championship final and did not commit
herself much, allowing a patient and methodical Taylor to pile up points.
November 23, 2006 Katie faced Annabella Farias of Argentina in the 60-kg final. Farias, who
had defeated 2005 Asian champion Mitchel Martinez of the Philippines
by an 18-13
margin in the other semi-final, was an unknown quantity to Taylor, but Farias had also defeated 2006 Venus Cup winner Lucie Bertaud of France on her way to their showdown
in the world final. In a boxing clinic, Katie worked behind her trade-mark jab,
put textbook combinations together and caught her opponent with occasional big
shots to defeat Annabella by a 31-14 margin over the full three rounds.
“I am absolutely thrilled with the win. I came out here to win a medal and it is a
dream come true for me. It has been a great week and I am very proud to have represented my country at these
Peter Taylor, who was in his daughter's corner,
said "Last year we suffered a setback at these championships but Katie was determined to get it right this
time and she did just that and more. It is a great feeling. She boxed brilliantly and even though it
went the distance the winning margin was still seventeen points and she was in control all the way. She was
also the only boxer in the lightweight division that had to fight five times to win the final as all the rest
got byes in the preliminary rounds. We did not get much sparring done before the championships
because of Katie’s nose injury but she was still in top form and no one really came near her out here all
Irish Amateur Boxing Association President Dominic O'Rourke said:"We had
every confidence in her going out there but the way she won her
fights against some of the top boxers in the world was unbelievable.
Everyone associated with Irish amateur boxing is immensely proud of this
Gary Keegan, who heads the High Performance Program
in which Taylor participates, said
"She is not only a wonderful talent, but she has the temperament to match it. It has been a
pleasure to watch her work with the High Performance squad and her father, Pete, has been a key player as well
as an inspirational figure in all her performances.
Katie really was magnificent in India. I thought that her
semi final win over the Russian world champion
was simply brilliant as was her win today ... This achievement is up there with all the great moments in Irish
sport and she totally deserves this as she has worked incredibly
hard over the last few years. We are absolutely thrilled with this
On May 12, 2007 in Istanbul, Turkey, in the 60-kg semifinal of the Ahmet Comert
tournament, Katie won by RSCO-2 over Cindy Orain of France, setting up another
showdown with Gulsum Tatar of Turkey who defeated Marlene Nielsen of Denmark
also by RSCO-2.
On May 13, 2007 in Istanbul, Turkey, Gulsum Tatar of Turkey defeated Katie by a
16-13 score to win the 60-kg division of the 2007 Ahmet Comert tournament.
On August 9, 2007 in Pecs, Hungary Katie advanced to the semi-finals of the
Witch Cup with a victory over Cindy Orain of France. Taylor stopped the Frenchwoman,
ranked 11th in the world, on the 15 point rule in round one (15-0). Peter Taylor, who was in his
daughter's corner in Pecs, said she was in top form: 'Katie forced Orain into a standing count in the first and I
think the margin of victory speaks for itself. She was in top form last
night and she has got off to a great start.'
On August 10, 2007 in Pecs, Hungary Katie defeated her arch-rival Gulsum Tatar
of Turkey by an 11-5 margin to advanced to the 60-kg final of the Witch Cup.
On August 11, 2007 n Pecs, Hungary Katie won the 60-kg division of the Witch Cup
with an RSCO-2 win over Eva Wahlstrom of Fnland.
On October 15, 2007 at the Sixth European Women's Championships in Vejle,
Denmark, Katie got her European lightweight title defence off to a good
start with a second-round stoppage of Hrtistina Athanasopoulou of Greece on the
15-point mercy rule.
On October 17, 2007 Katie advanced to the
semi-finals of the tournament with a stunning first-round knock-out
of Spain's Mc de la Guia Guerra. Taylor dropped the tall
Spaniard with a left hook after just 30 seconds and her opponent was
On October 18, 2007 she defeated Ukraininan southpaw Yana Zavyalova by an
11-4 margin in the tournament semi-final. Taylor was ahead 10-1 at the end of
the second before the Ukrainian rallied to take the only round anyone had won
from Taylor in the tournament. Zavyalova had defeated Natalia Kalinowski of
Germany by a 20-6 margin in her quarter-final.
On October 20, 2007 Katie was crowned 60-kg champion for the third year in a row
after an RSC-2 victory over Sandra Brugger of Switzerland. Taylor, who had been
ahead 8-0 at the end of the first round won by the 15-point mercy rule in round
two. Brugger had edged Russia's Ayzanat Gadzhieva 8-6 in the other
semi-final. Taylor had previously defeated Brugger in a challenge bout in Bray
On November 3, 2007 at the University of Illinois in Chicago, Katie
claimed yet another victory by stopping three-time Pan-American champion Katie
Dunn of Canada on the mercy rule (15-0) in the first round. Taylor, who normally
boxes at 60 kg, was fighting Dunn at
at light welterweight (63 kg). The bout, which took place before the Men's
World Championships finals, was being used to help promote women's boxing as a
future Olympic sport.
Katie Taylor was awarded the Irish Times/VHI Healthcare Sportswoman of the Year
Award for 2007 at the Western Hotel in Dublin on January 18, 2008.
In March 2008 in the 60-kg division at the Women's
International Tournament held in Stupino, Russia, Katie defeated Gulsum Tatar of
Turkey 16-5 in her preliminary bout on March 18th, Tatiana Bondareva of Russia
12-6 in her March 19th quarterfinal, Alexandra Siderenko of Ukraine 17-5 in her
semifinal on March 20th and finally Dariy Abramova of Russia 21-6 on March 21st
to win the division and the "Best Boxer in Tournament" award.
after the tournament: "Today's final went the distance and Katie is delighted
with that as she wanted to get as many rounds as possible under her belt and she
certainly got that this week as all her four fights went the full three rounds.
Russia is one of the top amateur boxing nations in the world and beating Russian
boxers here is a bit unheard of these days but Katie managed to do it twice this
week and we are thrilled with this win and the gold medal. The overall standard
of competition here was very high and that is another plus as Katie was
competing against quality opposition all week. Overall she got twelve rounds of
boxing under her belt in her four bouts and we are very happy with that".
At the Fifth AIBA Women's World Championships in Ningbo,
China in November, 2008, Katie successfully defended her 60-kg world title with
a convincing 13-2 win over home-country star Cheng Dong of China in the final,
and was also named as the Best Boxer of the Tournament. Irish
team manager Anna Moore said of Katie's final performance: “Katie was 6-0 up
at the end of the first round and there was no stopping her after that.”
Her closest fight in the 2008 World Championship tournament came in her second
preliminary bout in which she was held to just a 4-3 victory by 2008 Witch Cup
60-kg champion Danuse Dilhofova of the Czech Republic. Taylor had jumped to a
3-0 lead in the second round against Dilhofova but was then penalized two points
for holding (a controversial call that was later officially protested by the
Irish team). Dilhofova raised the anxiety level in the third round by
evening the score at 3-3 with the only punch that she landed, before Taylor
landed again with a crucial winning score. Taylor had previously defeated
Australia's Emma Carruthers by an emphatic 20-3 margin. She went on to
stop Peralta Celeste of Argentina in the first round of her quarterfinal, after
forcing Celeste into two standing counts before the fight was
stopped with Katie up 10-1. She outscored Ayzznat Gadzhieva of
Russia 20-2 in her semifinal, leading the Russian by 5-1 after one round and
11-2 after two.
Katie was awarded the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Female Boxer of
the Year for 2008 in Moscow on December 12, 2008. Her spectacular success
in 2008 also led to her being named as the Irish Times/Irish Sports Council
Sportswoman of the Year for 2008, repeating the honor she received in 2007.
On March 21, 2009 at the O2 in Dublin, Ireland, Katie won a 27-3 win over thee
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
On April 19, 2009 in the 60-kg division of the women's Ahmet Comert Cup in
Istanbul, Turkey, Katie defeated Ozlem Dinc of Turkey by a 5-1
margin to win yet another gold medal. She was also voted best female boxer and
best boxer (male or female) of this prestigious tournament. On the
way to the final, Katie had defeated Alexandra Siderenko
(Ukraine) by a 12-2 score on April 16th, Danus Dilhofova (Czech Republic) by a
11-2 on April 17, and
Daria Abhramova (Russia) by 21-7 on April 18.
On July 11, 2009 at the Sports Palace in St Petersburg, Russia, Katie won the
60-kg gold medal at the Multi Nations tournament beating Russian lightweight
Natalie Bondareva 6-3 after Bondareva took two standing eight counts in the
first round. Katie had previously defeated China's Dong Cheng by 10-2 in a
preliminary, Russian Ayzanet Gazhieva by a 17-4 margin in her quarter-final, and
Ukrainian Alexandra Siderenko 26-11 in the semi-final. Taylor
said: “The competition here was great, it was like a mini World
Championships because the best were here in order to put on a show for the IOC
and we certainly did that. It was a great competition.”
Taylor is supported by the Irish Sports Council’s International Carding Scheme
under which she has access to sports science, medical, nutritional and other
Speaking on November 23, 2006 John O'Donoghue T.D., Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism congratulated Katie
on her world championship win, saying. "This is a terrific accomplishment for Katie, who has been a great
ambassador for women's boxing in Ireland. Her outstanding victory today has confirmed her status as the world
number one and I wish to offer her my sincere congratulations on this marvelous achievement. Ireland can be
truly proud of this tremendous young talent. Her ability as a sportswoman has been well known in Ireland for a
number of years having won 40 caps playing soccer for Ireland from U.17 up. To reach the pinnacle of her sport
at such a young age leaves little doubt about her ability to continue successfully representing Ireland on the
Irish Sports Council chief John Treacy added: "She has worked incredibly hard to realize her goal, supported all the way by a magnificent team in her father, and as part of the IABA’s high
performance set-up led by Gary Keegan. She is a truly outstanding Irish athlete and it is a very proud moment
for all involved, and indeed the country in general.”
Katie Taylor's impressive athletic accomplishments are not limited to boxing - she has
is also a key player in Irish Women’s soccer!
She competed in last season’s Football Association of Ireland (FAI) Women’s Senior Cup Final where her club were runners-up to Dundalk. Previously, she played for Lourdes Celtic and St. James Gate in the Dublin Women’s Soccer League
She has also won 40 national caps in soccer, graduating through the Under-17 and Under-19
international levels before joining the senior team. In 2006 Katie played in three World Cup qualifying matches -
against Russia, Switzerland, and the USA - and was voted Player of the Match
in Ireland's 2-0 win over Switzerland in April. This was Ireland’s first-ever
appearance in the World Cup qualifying phase and Taylor's performances retain
their seeding in the top 20 nations of Europe.
FAI President David Blood said of Taylor's boxing world title: "As a footballer and a boxer, Katie has proved to
be a wonderful ambassador for Ireland and everybody within Irish football is absolutely delighted at her
magnificent achievement. There are very few people in the world who have participated so successfully in two
different sports at the highest level and it just goes to show what a remarkable person Katie is."
Irish women's senior soccer team manager Noel King also expressed delight that
she had been crowned a world boxing champion. "She is a tremendous competitor and whether it is
football or boxing she will always give it 100 per cent commitment. I am thrilled for her, and her family, who
have always been tremendously supportive of her football and boxing careers."
Niamh O’Donoghue, the chair of the Women’s Football Association of Ireland,
"Everybody in women’s football is immensely
proud of Katie’s achievement. She has shown that it is possible for Irish women to conquer the world and we hope
that this will now rub off on our international teams as they continue to progress up the world rankings."
If it comes to a choice between the "beautiful game" and the "sweet science" boxing
wins out for Taylor, who says "I love playing for Ireland, and I love soccer, but when it comes down
to it I would choose boxing as my number one sport as I'd miss it too much if I wasn't involved."
Katie's mother Bridget echoes her sentiments as she is more concerned when her daughter is on the soccer
pitch than when someone is attempting to pummel her inside a boxing ring.
"I'd honestly be more worried about her getting injured playing football,"
Katie, who is also a student at University College Dublin, now dreams of
Olympic gold, but the dream is still on hold - as it is for so many female
"It's very disappointing that it
hasn't been included in the Olympics yet," she
said. "I was very
disappointed when it was turned down for 2008 but hopefully it will be included
for the 2012 games. It is every athlete's dream to represent their country at
the Olympics and I'm no different and all we want is the same opportunity as
other athletes. First we were told that women's boxing would be included for
Beijing, and then we were told 'no', which was devastating. However I will be 26 when the Olympic Games are held in London and hopefully women's
boxing will be included and I will be given the opportunity to represent my
country at the Olympics. Men are allowed to box, so women should be allowed to
as well. It is a very tough sport, but I love the training. The best thing is
winning the gold medal, standing up on the podium and hearing your national
anthem. There is nothing like it."
IABA High Performance Program director Gary Keegan remains hopeful
that the sport will be featured in the London games but he also sounded a note of caution: "I'd like to see the day when women's boxing is an Olympic sport and
I think the London games in 2012 could be used as a trial for the sport. One
of the issues could be that it affects the quota in terms of the number of
male boxers allowed in the games."
The IOC's decision about whether to include women's boxing in London is expected
by October 2009. "'All the signs are good and hopefully they will make the
says an expectant Katie Taylor.
Other Katie Taylor links
To check out fight reports, complete up-to-date boxing records, with huge digital photos you can go to
the WBAN Records Member Site
Page last updated:
Sunday, 16 December 2012