Taylor punches her way to Irish sporting immortality

Boxing – Katie Taylor v Firuza Sharipova – WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO World Female Lightweight Titles – Echo Arena, Liverpool, Britain – December 11, 2021 Katie Taylor after her win against Firuza Sharipova Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Couldridge

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NEW YORK, May 1 (Reuters) – Katie Taylor battled her way into Irish sporting immortality on Saturday, outlasting one of the most powerful fighters in the world’s most famous arena in the biggest fight in the history of women’s boxing.

There appears to be no hyperbole unworthy of the undefeated, undisputed lightweight world champion, who slugged through 10 rounds against Puerto Rico’s Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden, an iconic arena they were the first women to headline.

“Tonight was just fantastic – I had to dig deep in there tonight. I had to produce a career-defining performance,” said Taylor (21-0). “We definitely got the best out of each other.”

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The scene was set as Irish fans in the sellout crowd roared along to an emotional rendition of their national anthem, “The Soldier’s Song”, before Taylor went into battle.

The 35-year-old, who lobbied for the inclusion of women’s boxing in the Olympic program before winning gold herself in 2012, once again lived up to fans’ expectations, swinging wildly in the final rounds to secure the split-decision victory.

“The best night of my career, for sure,” she told reporters. “I wasn’t sure if anything could reach my Olympic medal moment.”

Taylor, who famously dressed as a boy so that she could compete as a child, said she had no intention of slowing down, as she and Serrano ushered in a new era for a sport that once tried to relegate her to the sidelines because of her gender.

“I have no plans of retiring right now,” Taylor said. “I love fighting and I just want to keep making history.”

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Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Additional reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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