For all she’d already achieved prior to the start of 2019, it says a lot for Katie Taylor to consider it a year she will never forget.
The two-time Olympian and 2012 Olympic Gold medalist from Ireland saw a three-win campaign receive accolades from the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) as the recipient of the 2019 Christy Martin Award bestowed upon the top female fighter of the year.
“It’s a huge honor to win such a respected award,” Taylor (15-0, 6KOs) told BoxingScene.com of becoming the award’s third recipient. “It’s been a very fulfilling year, the best year of my career really and it’s lovely to have that recognized.”
Fittingly, Taylor’s predecessors to the award were Cecilia Braekhus and Claressa Shields, both of whom serve as undisputed champions at welterweight and middleweight, respectively. Taylor joined the elite group by capturing the lineal lightweight championship in her four-belt undisputed title win over Delfine Persoon this past June at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The hard fought—if not disputed—majority decision victory was bookended by two more title-winning efforts in 2019. Taylor opened the year with a 9th round stoppage of previously unbeaten Rose Volante in their three-belt unification clash this past March in Philadelphia. The year ended with her first fight back in the United Kingdom in more than 15 months, scoring a 10-round nod over Christina Linardatou to claim a 140-pound title last November in Manchester, England.
“To become undisputed champion has been the goal ever since I turned pro and then to end the year as a two weight World Champion was very special for me,” admits Taylor, whose win over Linardatou wrapped up just her third full year in the pro ranks.
Year four could serve as a year where—should she run the tables—would rapidly advance her status from modern star to all-time great.
“I think the most exciting thing of all, though, is that there are even bigger fights out there for me next year,” envisions Taylor. [W]hether that’s an Amanda Serrano fight, [currently in discussion to take place in April at MSG’s Hulu Theater once finalized], a Delfine Persoon rematch or a Cecilia Braekhus fight… hopefully all those fights can get made.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox