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Katie delivers an all singing, all dancing performance

 

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Mutual respect: Katie Taylor with Miriam Gutierrez after the bout

Mutual respect: Katie Taylor with Miriam Gutierrez after the bout

�INPHO/Matchroom Boxing/Mark Ro

Mutual respect: Katie Taylor with Miriam Gutierrez after the bout

Katie Taylor was serenaded on her ring walk in the Wembley Arena on Saturday night by Sirius, the instrumen­tal made famous by the Chicago Bulls.

Taylor will never be as big a global superstar as Michael Jordan, but she is destined to create a legacy not just in sport, but in popular culture too.

Her crossover appeal was under­lined on Saturday night when her hash-tag topped the social media charts in the UK ahead of the popular TV show Strictly Come Dancing.

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn is the ultimate showman. He can scarcely hide his pleasure at taking a punt on the Bray fighter four years ago, but he is genuinely astonished by Taylor's unrelenting dedication and commitment to her craft.

"There's not a day goes by that she is not thinking about improving. She is an absolute role model to every indi­vidual, male, female it doesn't matter. If you dedicate yourself to your pas­sion and your dream, you can make it," he said.

"This has been an amazing journey. Four years ago nearly we were in the same building for her debut. I didn't know what I was doing. I was just sit­ting there worrying how it was going to go.

"She has done it all, but we have so much more to do with Katie Taylor. Sometimes you meet people that make your desire burn inside to be just a small part of her journey and just help her create a legacy and secure her dream. Every day on the Katie Tay­lor journey is a joy."

Taylor is an outlier in women's professional boxing. She was inde­pendently wealthy before she decided her career needed a new direction after the disappointment of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The fight purses her manager Brian Peters negotiates on her behalf have no benchmark in the sport.

According to informed sources, Taylor secured a guaranteed record purse of €1.5m for her fight against Gutierrez and will gross even more after she receives a 60 per cent share of the of the boxers' pay per view revenue earned by DAZN who streamed the fight in the United States and else­where in the world outside the UK and Ireland.

But Taylor delivers on a grand scale inside the ropes. Miriam Gutierrez was her latest victim on Saturday. Her bravery was exemplary though a referee other than John Latham might have stepped in to save her from fur­ther punishment. She certainly earned her career-high purse of €300,000.

The 37-year-old was understandably proud she went the distance. Judge Victory Loughlin actually scored one round in her favour on his 99-91 score­card, but the nearest she got to taking Tay­lor's five belts was when the two fight­ers shared the burden of holding them for a touching photograph afterwards.

The only fly in the ointment from a Taylor perspective was that she failed to win inside the distance.

"I threw everything but the kitchen sink at her. I just couldn't get her out of there. She's tough as nails so credit to her," said Taylor who was posting her 17th successive profes­sional win.

"It was important for me to stamp my authority right from the first round. I thought it would be good to start fast. I thought I was going to get her out of there at one stage. She hung in there and she kept swinging shots.

"I would have loved to get a stoppage. I haven't got a stoppage in a long time. I did everything I could, but she hung in.

"I'm going home with all of the belts and I'm still the undisputed champion. I'm still unbeaten and this is a great end to the year."

The Taylor camp has three primary targets in 2021: nine-weight world champion Amanda Serrano, the winner of the rematch between Jessica McCaskill and former long-time welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhaus and a clash with MMA star Cris Cyborg.

Other possible opponents include British fighters Natasha Jonas, Chan­telle Cameron and Terri Harper.

Belfast Telegraph


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