The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has named Ireland’s Katie Taylor as its Boxer of the Month for June.
Taylor is the current Olympic Champion, AIBA Women’s World Champion, EUBC European Women’s Continental Champion, and European Union Champion, and added a gold medal from the Baku 2015 European Games to her glistening trophy cabinet on Saturday night.
AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu said: “I would like to congratulate Katie on becoming the AIBA Athlete of the Month of June, and on her recent gold medal victory in the Baku 2015 European Games. Katie is a true ambassador of women’s boxing and with this award she now sits next to the greatest names in boxing. Her performance and sporting excellence play a fundamental part in further development of our sport and I’m looking forward to seeing her participate in the upcoming competitions”.
Taylor’s early career
Katie Taylor was born in 1986, and began boxing in the city of Bray under the tutelage of father Peter, who has continued to coach her throughout her career.
2004 represented Taylor’s breakthrough year at international events, as she won both the Norway Box Cup and the Italian International Tournament.
Her first major success came at the European Women’s Continental Championships in 2005, where she defeated strong boxers including Turkey’s Gulsum Tatar and Finland’s Eva Wahlstroem.
Since then, she has defended her European title a further five times.
AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships supremacy
Taylor took part in the 2005 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships as a nineteen-year-old, and reached the second round.
The Irish boxer secured her first gold medal in the world class event in 2006, and she also made her debut for Ireland’s international senior women’s football team that same year.
A further four World Championships gold medals have been awarded to Taylor since 2006, most recently in 2014 when she excelled in Jeju.
London 2012 Olympic gold
Taylor arrived to the London 2012 Olympic Games as the top favourite of the Women’s Lightweight class (60 kg), and carried the flag of her proud nation in the opening ceremony.
World class rivals in Natasha Jonas, Mavzuna Chorieva and Russia’s Sofya Ochigava all attempted to defeat the Irish sensation, but Taylor lived up to her reputation with three outstanding victories to secure gold in the event.
Her success was Ireland’s sole gold medal in any sport at London 2012.
Katie Taylor in the Baku 2015 European Games
Katie Taylor was hungry for even more success in the Baku 2015 European Games, especially as she was named an ambassador for the event.
She first had to meet Bulgarian veteran Denitsa Eliseeva, who was the last boxer to defeat Taylor more than four years ago, but this time the Irish icon competed at a completely different level, and won with aplomb.
After a second victory over Sweden’s talented Ida Lundblad, Taylor then met with Azerbaijan’s Yana Alekseevna in the semi-final.
The two boxers produced one of the greatest bouts of the Games, and despite being tested more than she had by anybody since her undefeated streak began, Taylor secured a narrow, yet deserved victory.
France’s Estelle Mossely was her opponent in the final, and this time a more confident and composed Taylor dominated proceedings to claim her 18th title at a major event.
Taylor’s gold medal was presented to her by compatriot Patrick Hickey, who is the President of both the Olympic Council of Ireland, and the European Olympic Committees (EOC), and the member of the IOC Executive Board.
Regarding Taylor’s accomplishments, he said: “I would like to congratulate Katie on becoming the AIBA Boxer of the Month, and to thank the International Boxing Association on ensuring the further development of women’s boxing. Boxing is one of the key sports in Europe and we witnessed some really high quality performances in Baku 2015 European Games. I am looking forward to seeing Katie become one of the greatest boxers in the history of this sport”.
“My main goal is to defend my Olympic title and I think every competition is getting tougher. Because I am the Champion, my opponents always want to raise their game against me, so I have to continue to improve. I do get hungrier for medals, and it is great to add this European Games gold to my list.
“There are a lot of fighters coming up that want to take my place, and I think some people at home think I just stroll through these competitions, but every fight is a hard battle and not so easy to win.
“I just have a great team of people behind me, and my family too. My mother was here in Baku, she was praying for me in the stadium which strengthens me. I think when you are so consistent, you have stand up and take notice.
“I have said before I do not think people recognize the consistency enough. Sonia O’Sullivan has always been my hero and I still rate her as the greatest Irish athlete, and I want to go down in the history books as the greatest woman boxer of all time,” said Taylor after the Baku 2015 European Games.