Katie Taylor is an Irish professional boxer and former footballer, a two-weight world champion, and the current undisputed lightweight champion.
‘The Bray Bomber’ Katie Taylor has sure made her mark on the professional boxing scene in recent years. As she turns 35, here are ten facts about Katie Taylor you never knew.
Born in Bray, County Wicklow on 2 July 1986, Taylor made her professional boxing debut on 26 November 2016. Since then, she has become a two-weight world champion and the current undisputed lightweight champion.
Up there among Ireland’s greatest sportspeople of all time, Taylor already has an impressive career under her belt at such a young age.
10. She is a devout Catholic – she thanks God after every fight
Kicking off our list of facts about Katie Taylor you never knew is that she is a devout Catholic.
She says that her religion, boxing, and family are the three main pillars in her life, and she has always spoken openly about her faith.
To prepare for a fight, she listens to music and reads Psalm 18 and other Bible verses, and afterwards, she openly sends her thanks to God.
9. She studied the arts – not just an athlete
After completing her Leaving Cert at St. Killian’s Community School, Taylor enrolled in an arts degree at University College Dublin (UCD).
However, she later decided to put her studies on hold as her boxing career began to gain momentum.
8. Interest from American colleges – scholarship offers
While she was studying at St. Killian’s Community School in Bray, Taylor was heavily involved in sports both inside and outside of school.
She boxed and played association football at school, played ladies’ Gaelic football and camogie with her local GAA clubs, Bray Emmets and Fergal Ógs, and was a member of Bray Runners, a local athletics club.
Several American universities reportedly showed interest in the young sports star offering her scholarships to their programmes. However, she turned down these offers in favour of studying at UCD.
7. She started boxing at 12 – a young champion
Taylor was just 12 years of age when she first put on a pair of boxing gloves and discovered her talent for the sport.
By the age of 15, she had already made Irish boxing history. In October 2001, Taylor fought 16-year-old Alanna Audley of Belfast at the National Stadium in Dublin at the first officially sanctioned women’s fight ever held in Ireland.
6. Mingling with presidents – a presidential invitation
In March 2011, Taylor was invited to the White House for St. Patrick’s Day to meet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle.
She would later describe being invited to this event as one of the greatest honours of her life.
5. Boxing runs in the family – it’s in her blood
One of the facts about Katie Taylor you never knew is that she isn’t, in fact, the only boxer in her family.
Her father, Peter, who now works as her coach, was a 1986 Irish senior light heavyweight champion boxer. Plus, her mother, Bridget, was a former boxing referee.
4. She speaks Gaelic – keeping her native language alive
Taylor began taking Gaelic classes as an adult to further her skills at speaking her native language.
In an RTE interview on Miriam Meets, she explained, “I would love to be able to speak my own language and maybe have an interview in Irish maybe after my fights.”
3. She held four major world titles at once – an impressive achievement
In 2019, Taylor became one of only eight boxers (both male and female) in history to hold all four major world boxing titles at one time.
These include the World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC), (International Boxing Federation (IBF), and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) titles.
2. She also plays football – multi-talented
While Taylor is most well-known for her impressive boxing career, she is also talented with her feet.
Taylor used to play for Ireland’s Senior Women’s Football Team, and she scored in the opening of Ireland’s match with Hungary in 2007.
However, she said that if she had to choose between the two sports, boxing is her true passion.
When asked if she’d ever swap the gloves for football boots, she answered, “I love playing for Ireland, and I love soccer. But when it comes down to it, I would choose boxing as my number one sport as I’d miss it too much if I wasn’t involved.”
1. A history maker – fighting for the girls
Topping our list of facts about Katie Taylor you never knew is that she made Irish boxing history again at the age of 17. In May 2005, she became the first Irish woman to win a gold medal at the European Amateur World Championships.
She defeated Finland’s Eva Wahlström in the final of the 60 kg lightweight class to bring home the title.