Humble, inspiring, confident Katie Taylor arrives home

‘I want to make history; I want to be the greatest of all time,’ says five-time world champion

Katie Taylor is given a hero's welcome in Dublin airport as she arrives home with her fifth world championship title.

 

At this stage Katie Taylor could only surprise us if she lost a fight but if the story is familiar, it still draws the crowds.

The five-time world champion arrived to the usual reception of fans at Dublin Airport, holding aloft gloves and books in a bid to capture the most valuable autograph in Irish women’s sport.

She is the ultimate champion: humble, inspiring and yet ruthlessly confident in a sport that requires it.

This was a record-equalling title; can she claim a sixth and stand out from the pantheon?

“It’s very, very doable,” she said. “I was thinking about it all week and I was hoping to equal the record. I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet.”

Taylor is now the European, Olympic and World champion of a sport she has come to dominate, seemingly with ease. And after showing her granny the latest gold, and a bit or rest, it will be straight back to the bag.

“No rest, no rest,” her father and coach Pete confirmed. “She is where she is because she trains constantly.”

The 28-year-old boxer also relishes her place as inspiration to future athletes. “I like to be a role model for those girls growing up because there are an awful lot of bad role models out there. I want to show them that there is a great way to live your life and you can achieve your dreams.”

Her dreams are constant: more championships. There is a sixth world title to aspire to and then what? No end of possibility. “I just want to make history in my sport; I want to be the greatest of all time.”

That enduring self-confidence and positivity is possibly the magic ingredient to her celebrity appeal.

“If she wins one more time she will beat the record. She is the most famous boxer in the world,” said Oisín Murphy who travelled from Taylor’s native Bray, Co Wicklow, with brother Gearóid (9) and sister Elsha (6) to welcome a local hero.

Taylor won her first world championship in 2006 and embarked on a remarkable career.

At the airport, Irish Amateur Boxing Association president Tommy Murphy, who said she has “put women in the frontline” of all sport, recalled those distant fight-nights. “The first tournament she ever won, I remember waiting outside the door for her [afterwards]. I was the only one. Look at her now.”

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