Capturing her second world title at an atmospheric Manchester Arena on Saturday night, Irish icon Katie Taylor exemplified the exponential growth of women’s boxing.
Taking on a tough and determined champion in Christina Linardatou, Taylor utilised her superior movement to earn a classy unanimous decision victory.
Taylor showed discipline and composure to avoid engaging with the dangerous Linardatou, utilising her superior movement and footwork to frustrate her Greek opponent.
The historic moment for Taylor was justifiably the main event, on a card that featured former world champion Anthony Crolla, and a myriad of highly touted prospects.
The excitement and anticipation prior to Taylor’s ring walk is a true spectacle to behold and what’s notable is that her crowd defies previous prejudices about boxing’s demographic. Taylor is an idol to young girls that previously wouldn’t have had any interest in the sport of boxing.
Speaking to Sky Sports after her victory, promoter Eddie Hearn described Taylor as a ‘true icon’ and praised the impact she has had on the sport: “Everyone should be so proud of her. She is just a brilliant example of how hard work, drive, determination and a dream can get you to the top. She has changed the sport and in 2020 the challenges will keep on coming.
“One thing you can be sure of is that she will never duck from a challenge, she wants to test herself and will continue to make history.”
An emotional Taylor added: “I boxed smart for a change instead of getting stuck into a fight. Making history again, breaking barriers again. I’m a two-weight world champion and the best is yet to come.”
Since turning over into the paid ranks just three years ago, Taylor has transcended the sport and been one of women’s boxing’s true trailblazers as it embarks on both evolution and growth.
Prior to moving up and becoming a two-weight world champion, the former Olympic gold medalist conquered the lightweight division in just 14 fights, culminating in a dramatic contest on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s clash with Andy Ruiz.
Although her turbulent contest with Delfine Persoon on that infamous night at Madison Square Garden was far from perfect, it was once again an incredible advert for women’s boxing, and one in which Taylor starred in.
In her time as a pro, Taylor has witnessed a plethora of other female stars progress through the ranks, such as Nicola Adams, who has also enjoyed success at world level. Savannah Marshall has continued to go from strength to strength and Shannon Courtenay’s story has made her a household name among British boxing fans.
As well as this, the card on Saturday saw the undefeated 21-year-old Terri Harper propell her herself onto world level, and enhanced her story with a points win over Viviane Obenauf.
Harper flourished in front of a diverse and energetic crowd at Manchester Arena on Saturday night and the Denby fighter now has a path to stardom and can benefit from a whole new audience whose eyes were first turned to the sport of boxing by the rise of headliner, Katie Taylor.