Katie Taylor’s professional boxing career started with a DM to Eddie Hearn… now she is on the brink of making history
A PRIVATE message to promoter Eddie Hearn started Katie Taylor’s professional boxing career – now she is on the brink of history.
Taylor, one of Ireland’s most beloved and adored sports stars, almost single-handedly got women’s boxing into the Olympics.
�Mark Robinson Photography LtdBoxing promoter Eddie Hearn with Katie Taylor[/caption]
She boxed in exhibitions in front of Olympic chiefs and successfully convinced them women had a right to box in the London 2012 Games.
Taylor would go on to win gold but she was stunned in defeat four years later in Rio, losing in the quarter-finals.
Following the Olympic heartbreak, the five-time world champion was ready for her next step.
And that led her to send Hearn a direct message on Twitter, asking for a meeting as she considered turning pro.
Hearn admitted at first he accepted just out of respect to Taylor – but was soon blown away when the two sat face to face.
He told SunSport in Dublin: “When she won gold in 2012, I was like, ‘Wow, that was unbelievable. The atmosphere and everything, she’s a huge star’.
“But she never really wanted to turn pro, there was talk about it. When Rio came around, there was more talk about it.
“It didn’t go the way she wanted it to. And then she said, ‘I wanna turn pro.’ After that is when she sent me the message.
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“There was no market for women’s boxing, there was no interest from broadcasters or fans. I just had the meeting out of respect for her.
“But it was during that meeting I just thought, ‘Wow, you’re amazing. I’d quite like to be part of this, we could be a hero with you in just completely changing the game.’”
Taylor signed with Hearn’s Matchroom banner in 2016 and within a year she became lightweight world champion.
Before long, she reigned as undisputed queen of the division and moved up in weight to become a two-division ruler.
Last year, Taylor, 36, and Amanda Serrano, 33, sold at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden for their fight of the year contender.
I just thought, ‘Wow, you’re amazing. I’d quite like to be part of this, we could be a hero with you in just completely changing the game.
Eddie Hearn on his first meeting with Katie Taylor
Taylor edged out a split-decision but their rematch was shelved due to an injury to Serrano.
So instead, Taylor will move back up to super-lightweight to challenge the unbeaten champ Chantelle Cameron, 32.
And it will be her most historic fight of all, as it marks the return of Irish boxing for the first time since 2014.
Hearn has promoted stadium super-fights in the UK, America and Mexico.
But bringing Taylor home to Dublin for the first time in her professional career could top the lot.
Hearn said: “I can sort of tell you a dozen nights that I’ll remember forever that stand out for me, and this is well in there – and that’s before the fight.
“So ask me the same question after Saturday night, it might me number one. It’s going to be that kind of night.”
Mark Robinson Matchroom BoxingKatie Taylor, Eddie Hearn and Chantelle Cameron[/caption]