Olympic gold medalist Katie Taylor to go pro
A couple days after the two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields announced her plans to go pro, another amateur sensation has followed suit.
Katie Taylor, who struck gold in the 2012 London Games for Ireland and is a five-time world champion, has signed with Matchroom Boxing and will make her pro debut on Nov. 26 on the undercard of Tommy Coyle-John Wayne Hibbert at the SSE Arena in Wembley, London on Sky Sports, it was announced on Thursday. The junior lightweight is then scheduled to fight on Dec. 10 on IBF heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua’s undercard in Manchester, England.
Shields and Taylor will provide women’s boxing, which has struggled to draw interest in recent years, with an influx of talent and personality that should raise the profile of the genre. “When I first dreamt of Olympic gold, female boxing was practically unknown,” said Taylor in a prepared statement. “Now because of my journey and the incredible supporters who came along with me, female boxing is as much part of the fabric of the Olympics as its male counterpart. Now, I want to do the same for the professional sport and I hope those who have supported me along the way will come along with me. I’m excited for the road ahead.”
Taylor, who is managed by Brian Peters, is among the top amateurs of her generation. She has won five world championships, six European titles and is a two-time Olympian. Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn noted Taylor’s status as a trailblazer and national celebrity in her native Ireland.
“Today marks a significant day for our sport with the news that Katie is joining the professional ranks,” Hearn said in the release. “She is one of the most decorated amateur boxers of all time and a public icon in Ireland. I met Katie for the first time last week and was fascinated by her desire to not just win world titles but to break down the barriers of women’s boxing, she is an incredible role model.”