Last month brought up 20 years since Katie Taylor helped turn women’s boxing in this country on its head forever.
On October 31, 2001 Taylor and Belfast’s Alanna Audley met in the first-ever officially sanctioned fight for female boxers in Ireland when the Bray native won comfortably at the National Stadium.
It would be the prelude to her scarcely believable amateur career which gleaned five world amateur titles and of course that Olympic gold medal at London 2012.
But now two decades on from that watershed moment, Taylor insists she has no designs on winding down just yet despite already winning world titles in two divisions and becoming undisputed at lightweight since turning professional five years ago.
“I’m obviously very very aware that I can’t do this forever,” Taylor says with a smile. “It is a very limited career but I definitely don’t think I’m slowing down as of yet.
“I feel like I have a few years and plenty of big fights left in me as well. I just take it one fight at a time really.
“But I do feel like so many people over the last year or so have continued to speak about my retirement. I’m not thinking about retirement right now but I guess everyone else is.
“I don’t feel like I’m slowing down and I’m definitely feeling very fresh right now. I definitely feel like I have plenty more years left in me.”
Indeed there have been few signs of slowing down and her fight against Firuza Sharipova on December 11 in Liverpool will be her fourth outing in just 13 months. Her last victory came over Jennifer Han in Leeds in September.
Taylor is once again an overwhelming favourite to win but she is adamant that victory here will draw a line under a successful 2021 and open the door to legacy-defining fights against the likes of Amanda Serrano, Jessica McCaskill, or Mikaela Mayer next year.
Even she could not have dreamt it would get this big way back in 2001. “I couldn’t imagine as a 15-year-old looking at where I’m at right now,” she adds. “It’s been a dream.
“As a 15-year-old I had big dreams, big hopes, and I wanted to make an impact on the boxing world. My whole childhood was obviously based around this Olympic dream that I had but never in a million years did I think I’d be in the position I am right now, having the chance to box on the biggest stages in the world as a professional fighter as well.
“It has been absolutely fantastic and just to see where women’s boxing is right now, and the amount of female fighters, it has been a golden moment for women’s boxing over the last few years and that, for me, is everything.
“With the environment I was in I didn’t think about what was realistic. I’m very lucky that I was surrounded by a family