Katie Taylor

Katie Taylor (Irish: Cáit Táilliúir; born 2 July 1986)[1] is an Irish professional boxer and former footballer. She is a two-weight world champion and the current undisputed lightweight champion, having held the WBA title since 2017; the IBF title since 2018; and the WBC, WBO, and Ring magazine titles since 2019, as well as having held the WBO junior-welterweight title in 2019. Following her victory over Delfine Persoon in 2019, she became one of only seven boxers in history, female or male, to hold all four major world titles in boxing—WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO—simultaneously, along with Bernard Hopkins (2004–2005), Jermain Taylor (2005), Cecilia Brækhus (2014–), Terence Crawford (2017), Oleksandr Usyk (2018–2019), and Claressa Shields (2019–).

Katie Taylor
Katie Taylor 2012 (cropped).jpg
Taylor at the 2012 Olympics
  • KT
  • The Bray Bomber
  • Simply the Best
Height5 ft 5 in (165 cm)
Reach65 in (165 cm)
Born (1986-07-02) 2 July 1986 (age 34)
Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland
Boxing record
Total fights15
Wins by KO6

In her successful amateur boxing career, 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,[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] Taylor turned professional in 2016 under Matchroom Boxing, and is known for her fast-paced, aggressive boxing style, which has been compared to that of a male boxer.[4] As of July 2019, Taylor is ranked as the world's best active female lightweight, and number one pound-for-pound boxer by BoxRec.[5]

Early life and familyEdit

Taylor was born and raised in Bray, County Wicklow and is the daughter of an Irish mother Bridget (née Cranley) and English father Peter Taylor. Her father was born near Leeds[6] and grew up in Birmingham[7] 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.

Taylor has three older siblings – Lee, Sarah and Peter, the latter a professor of maths at Trinity College Dublin. Together with members of her family, Taylor attends St. Mark's Church, Dublin, which is an Assemblies of God Ireland Church, itself a denomination which ascribes to Pentecostalist doctrines.[8][9][10][11]


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 ladies' 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.[10][11]

Amateur boxing careerEdit

Taylor first began boxing in 1998, aged 11. Her father coached her 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.[10][12]

List of title fightsEdit

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.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16][17]

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.[18]

2012 | Summer Olympics
Taylor (in red) vs. Chorieva at the 2012 Olympic semi-finals

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.[19] Coddle released a single called "Katie Taylor Ireland's Boxing Legend".[20] 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.[21][22] Fans of Taylor produced record noise levels at the Olympics.[23]

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.[24][25]

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.[26][27]

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.[28]

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.[29][30] The final scoreline was 40–36, 39–37, and 39–37 in her favour.[31]

2015 | European Games

On 27 June 2015, Taylor won the lightweight title in Azerbaijan at the inaugural European Games, defeating Estelle Mosely of France.[32] The final scoreline was 40–36, 40–36, and 39–37 in her favour.[32]

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.[33] Two days later, Taylor lost to Estelle Mossely in the semi-finals which ended her quest for a sixth World title in a row.[34]

2016 | Summer Olympics

On 15 August 2016, Taylor lost 2–1 in the quarter-finals to Mira Potkonen of Finland and did not advance.[35][36]

Professional boxing careerEdit

Taylor made her professional debut on 26 November 2016, at Wembley Arena in London, stopping Karina Kopinska in three rounds.

WBA Lightweight Title and First Title defense 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.[37] On 13 December 2017, Taylor retained her lightweight world title after defeating Jessica McCaskill in a ten-round contest at York Hall.[38].

On the 28 April 2018 she added the IBF title to her winnings and since then she has gone on to retain both her titles another three times, most recently on the 15 December 2018, against Eva Wahlström at New York's Madison Square Garden in New York City.[39][40]

On 15 March 2019 she added the World Boxing Organisation title and retain both her titles stopping Rose Volante in a unification bout. Taylor baffled her opponent with blinding combinations and fluid in-and-out movement, dropping Volante in the opening round. The popular Irish champion nearly ended it in the fifth, hurting Volante badly with a punishing left hook before pouring on the punishment only for her opponent to be saved by the bell. Volante showed great heart but proved no match for Taylor’s pinpoint combinations, which broke her down over the second half of the fight. It ended in the ninth when what appeared to be an accidental clash of heads opened a large gash on the bridge of Volante’s nose, prompting referee Benjy Esteves to wave off the action.[41]

Taylor vs. PersoonEdit

In December 2018, Irish journalist Evanne Ní Chuilinn stated that Katie Taylor accused Delfine Persoon of turning down a "life-changing" amount of money to fight her.[42] Later Persoon claimed to have offered $100,000 to Taylor for a fight.[43] Taylor's manager stated that Taylor wouldn't even get out of bed for this sum.[44] On 15 April 2019, Taylor and Persoon agreed to a lightweight title unification bout, to take place on June 1 at Madison Square Garden as undercard for the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. heavyweight title fight.[45] In addition to all four sanctioning body's titles being on the line, The Ring magazine belt was also at stake. [46]

Persoon's management labelled Taylor's team "totally disrespectful" and claimed "psychological warfare" after a series of demands late in the fight week. This included a claim of forcing Persoon to switch hotels on the grounds that Taylor was staying in the same hotel, and demands for an additional blood test and to prove Persoon has exercise asthma.[47][48][49] Taylor's team denied expelling Persoon's team from the hotel, but claimed that there was a clause in the contract allowing them to do so which Persoon's manager should have been aware of.[49] Although, in a different interview Taylor's team stated it was not done by them, but by the organizers and that they had no idea about this forced move out of the hotel.[50] Taylor's team accused Persoon's manager of purposefully attempting to stir controversy by booking his fighter into the hotel Taylor was staying at.[citation needed]

Taylor won a majority decision to become the undisputed lightweight champion. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the decision, and some ringside media outlets felt that Persoon should have won.[51][52][53]

Taylor vs. LinardatouEdit

On 2 November 2019, Taylor became a two-weight world champion after defeating Christina Linardatou by unanimous decision for the WBO junior-welterweight title at the Manchester Arena. Two judges scored the bout 97–93 while the third scored it 96–94.[54][55]

Taylor vs. Persoon IIEdit

Taylor was scheduled to defend her lightweight titles against seven-division world champion and current WBO and WBC interim female featherweight champion Amanda Serrano on 2 May 2020 at the Manchester Arena. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the bout was postponed and rescheduled to 4 July, with the venue changing to the Matchroom Sport headquarters in Brentwood, Essex. The bout was once again postponed, with a new proposed state of 22 August. After negotiations began to break down, Taylor's promoter, Eddie Hearn, revealed he was in talks with Delfine Persoon's team to secure a rematch for the 22 August date.[56] On 9 July, it was confirmed that the Taylor vs. Persoon rematch will take place on 22 August at the Matchroom Sport headquarters in Brentwood, Essex, airing live on Sky Sports Box Office as part of the undercard for Dillian Whyte vs. Alexander Povetkin.[57]

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
15 fights 15 wins 0 losses
By knockout 6 0
By decision 9 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
16 N/A N/A   Delfine Persoon N/A – (10) 22 Aug 2020   Matchroom Fight Camp, Brentwood, England Defending WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, and The Ring female lightweight titles
15 Win 15–0   Christina Linardatou UD 10 2 Nov 2019   Manchester Arena, Manchester, England Won WBO female junior-welterweight title
14 Win 14–0   Delfine Persoon MD 10 1 Jun 2019   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US Retained WBA, IBF, and WBO female lightweight titles;
Won WBC, and inaugural The Ring female lightweight titles
13 Win 13–0   Rose Volante TKO 9 (10), 1:40 15 Mar 2019   Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US Retained WBA and IBF female lightweight titles;
Won WBO female lightweight title
12 Win 12–0   Eva Wahlström UD 10 15 Dec 2018   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US Retained WBA and IBF female lightweight titles
11 Win 11–0   Cindy Serrano UD 10 20 Oct 2018   TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, US Retained WBA and IBF female lightweight titles
10 Win 10–0   Kimberly Connor TKO 3 (10), 1:43 28 Jul 2018   The O2 Arena, London, England Retained WBA and IBF female lightweight titles
9 Win 9–0   Victoria Bustos UD 10 28 Apr 2018   Barclays Center, New York City, New York, US Retained WBA female lightweight title;
Won IBF female lightweight title
8 Win 8–0   Jessica McCaskill UD 10 13 Dec 2017   York Hall, London, England Retained WBA female lightweight title
7 Win 7–0   Anahi Sanchez UD 10 28 Oct 2017   Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales Won vacant WBA female lightweight title
6 Win 6–0   Jasmine Clarkson RTD 3 (8), 2:00 29 Jul 2017   Barclays Center, New York City, New York, US
5 Win 5–0   Nina Meinke TKO 7 (10), 0:57 29 Apr 2017   Wembley Stadium, London, England Won vacant WBA female Inter-Continental lightweight title
4 Win 4–0   Milena Koleva PTS 8 25 Mar 2017   Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
3 Win 3–0   Monica Gentili TKO 5 (6), 1:31 4 Mar 2017   The O2 Arena, London, England
2 Win 2–0   Viviane Obenauf PTS 6 10 Dec 2016   Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
1 Win 1–0   Karina Kopińska TKO 3 (6), 0:58 26 Nov 2016   The SSE Arena Wembley, London, England

Association footballEdit

Katie Taylor
Personal information
Playing position(s) Midfielder / Forward
Youth career
St Fergal'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

Club careerEdit

As a schoolgirl, Taylor played association football for St Fergal's and Newtown Juniors in the Wicklow and District Schoolboys League. Taylor played in teams with boys. She also represented the league in the Kennedy Cup, an inter–league competition, and won the league's Player of the Year award.[11] 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.[58] Taylor played for St James's Gate in the 2003 DWSL Premier Cup final against Dundalk City. Gate lost 3–2 after extra time.[59] Taylor also played for Peamount United in the 2005 FAI Women's Cup final. However Peamount lost 1–0 to Dundalk City.[60] 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 miss out on the final itself.[61][62] In 2010, together with Nicola Sinnott, Áine 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.[63][64][65]


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.[11] 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.[66] 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.[67][68] 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.


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.[69]

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.

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

Taylor is now the new brand ambassador for the company "Its4women", an online women's insurance company.[70] Katie appeared in advertisements for this company on both television and YouTube.[71]

In 2018, the documentary Katie was released, chronicling her early life to her first title shot.[72]


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.[73]

Awards and honoursEdit


Boxing medalsEdit

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 alsoEdit


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  4. ^ "Tide is rising but we are only at the beginning of a whole new ball game". Sunday Independent. 8 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020. And of course you're not missing anything when watching Katie Taylor either: you forget about the power deficit when she is in the ring because, as has often been said about the champ, she hits like a man.
  5. ^ "BoxRec: Ratings".
  6. ^ "Katie Taylor: 'Stepping away from my dad was difficult'".
  7. ^ "All you need to know about Katie Taylor's dad Pete". 5 June 2018.
  8. ^ "God arms me with strength and keeps my way secure". www.independent.ie. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Top ten facts about Irish Olympic hopeful Katie Taylor". www.irishcentral.com. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "Maeve Sheehan: Joy abounds as prayers at Katie's church are answered". www.independent.ie. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d Taylor, Katie (2012). My Olympic Dream. Simon & Schuster.
  12. ^ "Pride without prejudice". www.irishtimes.com. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism". Archived from the original on 14 June 2011.
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  41. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/mar/15/katie-taylor-rose-volante-fight-undisputed
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  52. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Sn3REeuf5s
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  75. ^ "Heroes at national and community levels honoured in emotional ceremony". 17 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
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  79. ^ Undefeated Katie Taylor honored as female fighter of year - Dan Rafael, ESPN, 16 December 2019

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
New title WBA female Inter-Continental
lightweight champion

29 April 2017 – 28 October 2017
Won world title
World boxing titles
Title last held by
Anahi Sanchez
WBA female lightweight champion
28 October 2017 – present
Preceded by
Victoria Bustos
IBF female lightweight champion
28 April 2018 – present
Preceded by
Rose Volante
WBO female lightweight champion
15 March 2019 – present
Preceded by
Delfine Persoon
WBC female
lightweight champion

1 June 2019 – present
Inaugural champion The Ring female
lightweight champion

1 June 2019 – present
Undisputed female
lightweight champion

1 June 2019 – present
Preceded by
Christina Linardatou
WBO female junior-welterweight champion
2 November 2019 – December 2019
Title next held by
Christina Linardatou
Olympic Games
Ciara Peelo
Flagbearer for   Ireland
2012 London
Paddy Barnes
Claressa Shields
BWAA Female Fighter of the Year