Katie Taylor feels like she's arrived as she prepares for her professional debut
Katie Taylor feels like she has finally arrived as she prepares for her professional debut on Saturday.
The 30-year-old Irishwoman enjoyed a glittering 15-year amateur career with five world titles and six European belts, as well as a memorable Olympic gold medal at London 2012.
She steps into the pro ranks with her bout against Poland's Karina Kopinska topping a packed bill - the rest of which are men - at Wembley Arena this weekend.
And Taylor said: "I just can't wait to get in there. This is the platform I want to be on."
Taylor's bid to become a double Olympic gold medallist was ended when she lost her opening bout to Finland's Mira Potkonen in Rio in August.
But she should still have far too much for 27-year-old Kopinska, who has lost 14 of her 24 professional bouts.
Taylor will be looking for a commanding win before she heads to Manchester on December 10 on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's IBF heavyweight title defence against Eric Molina.
"This is just like any normal fight," added Taylor.
"The approach is exactly the same, I'm prepared for a tough six-round battle.
"She's very durable and very experienced. I'm expected to win but I have to impress and bring my A game.
"This is massive for women's boxing and the start of something exciting.
"I want to make history and break down these barriers."
Promoter Eddie Hearn sat proudly between Taylor and Kopinska at a packed press conference in London, also flanked by the rest of the bill.
Among them, hard-hitting Londoner Ohara Davies challenges Andrea Scarpa for the WBC silver Super-Lightweight title and Martin J Ward defends his British Super-Featherweight belt against Ronnie Clark.
But Hearn is in no doubt about who the headline act is.
"I'm really excited about this opportunity to welcome Katie to Wembley," he said.
"I don't see this as men and women. I see it as boxing, as the chance to take down some barriers and change the game."