Baku, June 20, AZERTAC
“I have another chance to make history in Baku. We’re all here to win the gold medal, but only one person walks away with it, and I plan to be that person,” said Irish female boxer Katie Taylor, who will take on Bulgaria’s Denitsa Eliseeva in Sunday’s bout at the European Games in Baku. In an interview with Irishtimes, she said: “I want to be the best female boxer of all time.”
It’s Katie Taylor’s first competitive appearance since winning a fifth successive World title in South Korea last November. Taylor is a Baku Games ambassador and carried the Irish flag in last weekend’s opening ceremony, and this title, should she win it, will feel like another of her dates with destiny.
Of course for Taylor, who turns 29 next month, it will be nowhere near the scale of sporting achievement of three years ago, when she was among the first ever Olympic gold medal winners in women’s boxing.
Having already won 17 major championship medals, at least part of her motivation is to ensure no one walks away from Baku with this title, for the first time, without first beating Taylor.
There is no Sofya Ochigava, the Russian boxer who Taylor defeated in the final of the London Olympics, but the hope is it will be equally competitive.
If Taylor wants to ensure the European Games gold medal is worthy of sitting anywhere alongside her other titles, she’ll want and need to feel like she earned it.