Undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor defended all four of her world titles recently with victory over Natasha Jonas in Manchester to continue her undefeated record as a professional in the ring.
Taylor is one of the biggest names in female boxing and has a huge following around the world. Some established figures, including her promoter Eddie Hearn, have claimed that Taylor is the greatest female boxer in history. We’ve taken a look at her incredible career and what is next for the Irish boxer.
As an amateur, Taylor won 18 gold medals in major events. She has picked up five gold medals at the World Champions, six golds at the European Championships, while her most memorable success came at the 2012 Olympic Games in London where she was victorious in the lightweight division.
When Taylor won gold at the Olympics nine years ago it was the first time that women’s boxing had been included at the Olympics. The flag bearer for Ireland at the Games defeated Russia’s Sofya Ochigava in the final. It was scored 10-8 in her favour in what was a tight contest.
Despite calls for her to turn professional, Taylor continued to add to her glittering amateur career after the Olympics. She won her fifth straight gold medal at the World Championships in 2014, beating Yana Allekseevna in South Korea. All three scorecards were in her favour as they read 40-36, 39-37, and 39-37.
Taylor turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and since then she has gone on to win all 18 of her bouts, six of which have come by KO.
Given the experience she has in the amateur ranks, Taylor was always going to be fast-tracked to a world title shot and she was handed that opportunity in just her seventh fight. KT beat Argentina’s Anahi Ester Sanchez to claim the vacant WBA lightweight title.
Just six months later, Taylor added the IBF crown to her waist as she got the better of Victoria Bustos following 10 rounds at the Barclays Center in New York in a unification contest. That success helped establish her as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in female boxing.
Delfine Persoon is considered to be one of the best female boxers of all time so a clash with the Belgium fighter in 2019 was a huge fight in the sport. With all four belts in the division on the line, there was so much at stake for both women. It was a close fight, but Taylor prevailed with a mixed decision.
Taylor fought Persoon for a second time in 2020 and, on that occasion, her victory was more decisive as the scorecards were 98-93, 96-94, 96-94. The Irish woman’s opponent was very complimentary about her after the fight, which was high praise given what Persoon has achieved in the sport.
Challenges Left For Taylor
The undisputed lightweight champion has dodged nobody in her division over the last few years which means she is running out of opponents. She could now step up in division and look to become a three-weight world champion.
Many boxing pundits have compared Taylor to Vasyl Lomachenko, as, like the Irish woman, he also had a fantastic amateur career before turning professional. In 2018 the Ukrainian became a three-weight world champion. He is bidding to get his career back on track when he faces Masayoshi Nakatani next. As of the 1st June, the former lightweight champion was 1/20 in the Betway boxing betting to prevail in that fight.
Although it only took Lomachenko 12 fights to win his third world championship at a different weight, in many ways, Taylor’s achievement will be better as she has yet to taste defeat. The Ukrainian was beaten on his second professional fight by Orlando Salido.
Taylor’s next opponent may be Jessica McCaskill. She is the undisputed welterweight champion. A showdown between the two boxers would be a big event. Success in this fight would go a long way towards the Irishwoman establishing herself as one of the best, not just of her generation, but of all time.
It has been a fine career so far from the undefeated female boxer, but her greatest achievements may still be ahead of her. The next few years will an opportunity for her to add to her legacy and to try to cement her place as the greatest female fighter to ever enter a ring.