In these days of very rare good news, the madness and sheer brilliance of Ireland’s boxing legend Katie Taylor’s performance shines like a welcome beacon. After a decade of world-class performances, Taylor has written a new page in world sport history.
The narrow win over Puerto Rico’s Amanda Serrano was notable for a number of reasons. The bout at the fabled Madison Square Garden, which sold out with nearly 20,000 fans in attendance, ushered in a new era for women’s boxing and women’s sport in general.
Gnarly and veteran world boxing commentators said the passion of Irish and Puerto Rican fans helped create an intense atmosphere reminiscent of the epic bouts of yesteryear in men’s boxing. The athletic excellence and honesty of both women’s efforts demonstrated their ability to attract an audience and provide an opportunity on par with anything in men’s martial arts.
Both women’s performances simply banished large chunks of the sexism that has plagued boxing in particular, and the sport in general, for too long. It was a very close fight and Taylor had to dig deep to shadow it in the end through a split judges decision – which made the win all the sweeter.
Taylor has been at the top of world boxing for 10 years and is a consistent winner. This was her 21st straight win since turning pro following disappointment at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Taylor now holds her five champion belts and remains the undisputed world champion in her weight class. Irish sports fans of all genders and ages have embraced her and she has become a sporting role model for young Irish women. Her victory comes at a time when women’s sport is finally taking its rightful place at the top in this country.
The victory also coincides with a remarkable time for boxing, which has been going through serious difficulties, not least in Ireland where the links to crime, hopefully now severed, have been extremely discouraging. Taylor’s excellence in this regard is somewhat remedial in the sense of image.
It is also noteworthy that in her generosity, Taylor gave much to the Irish sporting public and asked little in return.
One thing Taylor desires very much is to be allowed
to defend their championship title in their home country. A rematch with Amanda Serrano would be a very hot encounter that would surely light up a venue in Dublin or elsewhere in the country.
Taylor’s wish is now strongly shared by a great many Irish athletes. We know there are practical difficulties involved – including the ever-present bogeyman of public liability insurance.
Still, it is not beyond the understanding of mankind to resolve such difficulties and surely the government can help in some way here as well. We look forward to complementing Katie Taylor’s good news and celebrations with progress soon on preparations for an Irish rematch.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/katie-taylors-triumph-shines-a-light-in-a-time-of-darkness-41605967.html Katie Taylor’s triumph brings light to a time of darkness