'It's a privilege' – Record breaker Katie Taylor basks in glory of fifth world title
Katie Taylor has said it is a 'privilege' to equal the record of India’s Mary Kom five successive world titles after her gold in South Korea today.
The Bray woman was crowned AIBA World Elite lightweight champion for the 5th time in-a-row since New Delhi 2006 after beating Azerbaijan’s Yana Allekseeva on a unanimous decision (40-36,39-37,39-37) in Jeju.
The wins sees the Irish boxer match Mary Kom's achievements, who claimed five successive AIBA World Elite titles between 2002 and 2010, and Taylor was thrilled to follow in her footsteps.
"It's an absolute privilege to equal Mary Kom's record. She was a hero of the sport," she said post-fight.
"She (Allekseeva) was very, very tricky. All the top opponents are very tricky at this level. You can't rush in, you have to be patient."
"It was a great contest, a great boxing match and a great advertisement for women's boxing."
Katie The Great, we are all so proud of you, congratulations! @KatieTaylor— Enda Kenny (@EndaKennyTD) November 24, 2014
"Thank God again for a great victory today. It was so encouraging. It was reassuring knowing that everyone back home was praying for me"
Her father and trainer Pete was fulsome in his praise for his daughter's latest success, though admitted it was heart-stopping at times.
"My heart is in bits," he conceded.
"We knew it was going to be a tough fight. We were studying this girl and we knew we'd have to feint and feint, and it was only with single punches we were going to score."
"Katie executed it perfectly. Five world titles, what can you say? She is unbelievable, a legend."
Taylor found the target with two solid combos to take the opening frame on two of the judges’ cards against the Azeri southpaw and a brace of right hooks helped her win the second round 10-9 across the board.
The judges split 2-1 in favour of Taylor in the third, leaving Allekseeva, who boxed as Yana Sydor for the Ukraine up to 2012, needing a knockout in the fourth and final stanza to claim victory.
But with Taylor up on her toes and responding to anything that Allekseeva threw at her with rapid responses off both hands that was never going to happen.
Taylor was presented with her gold medal in Jeju this morning. She has now won 17th major titles - one Olympic, five World, six European and five European Union – since 2005.
“We are absolutely delighted and this is a very proud moment for us. Katie was magnificent here today,” said Irish team manager Anna Moore.
Tributes have poured in for the Bray woman, with President Michael D.Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny praising the most successful Irish boxer of all-time.
"Katie The Great, we are all so proud of you, congratulations!" Enda Kenny posted on his Twitter account this morning.
Olympian Darren O'Neill believes that Taylor is the greatest Irish boxer of all-time and that we will never see the success enjoyed by the Bray woman again.
"As far as I'm concerned, Katie Taylor is the greatest of all-time. She has six European titles, five worlds and an Olympic gold."
"I think she is the greatest of all-time and I have said this through the last few years before she ever had the medals that we don't appreciate her enough.
"Thankfully in the last few years she is beginning to get the credit she deserves.
"She is phenomenal and I don't think we will ever see anything like it again."
Meanwhile, Olympian gold medallist Michael Carruth believes Katie Taylor could bring home gold again in Rio 2016.
“Absolutely – she’s after taking five world titles now from this morning. Why not?,” he said on Newstalk Breakfast.
“She will admit [other players] are getting closer to her, but she lives a boxer lifestyle, she’s not one for going out and partying. You heard earlier on God plays a huge part in her life as well.”
“But I think she could go and defend that title in Rio,” he continued.
“She’s proved she can get five titles in a row, so why not two Olympic games?
“You look at the growth of female boxing in Ireland, it’s unbelievable.
“I have this young kid from Mulhuddart, Dublin training with me at the moment and I firmly believe she’s the next Katie Taylor... and that’s thanks to Katie for her commitment and desire to keep on winning.”
Today’s win ensures that Ireland will finish in a top ten position in the medals table at the 67-nation tournament.