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Katie Taylor has arrived at Dublin airport after her incredible win against Delfine Persoon at Madison Square Garden.

The Bray native was faced with a massive challenge in her boxing match against the Belgian lightweight champion, and it was almost too close to call in the end.

Thankfully, the Irish sportswoman emerged victorious and is now the five-belt undisputed lightweight world champion. She received a warm welcome upon her return to Ireland, with fans flocking to the airport to meet her;

She spoke to RTÉ Radio 1's Today with Sean O'Rourke, opening up about the win: 

 "It was a very very close fight but we knew from the earlier rounds that we won the fight. This is what happens when the best fight the best. It was an absolute battle I'm so glad I came out as the winner. It's a fight that people want to see again.

"I can't wait for it." After declaring a rematch with Persoon was 'inevitable', since the final decision was met with controversy, Katie spent time with some of her younger followers and stayed for pictures.

The gifted sports star thanked fans for their support and for showing up at the airport to greet her;

"It's a great welcome. It's great to be home and to see the support is absolutely phenomenal.

"It was great to come through such a tough battle on Saturday night and to come out victorious. This is what it's all about," she added.

Her defeated opponent has already vowed to make an appeal, but Katie landed 93 punches versus Persoon's 83, so the stats don't lie. Persoon told Sudpresse that a claim is already being planned.

A tribute the incredible boxer is apparently in the works, and is set to appear in her hometown of Bray, Wicklow. 

A motion will be tabled at the first new meeting of Wicklow County Council this Friday to have a statue erected in Taylor's honour, as well as a proposal to have post boxes in Bray painted gold to celebrate her achievement.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Councillor Joe Behan praised Taylor for her contribution to her community:

"However, there is a great desire to have a statue erected in Katie's honour to celebrate what she has done, both as an amateur and a professional, as an ambassador for Bray."

Congratulations to Katie on her electric win, she's always the champion of the world in our eyes. She's basically Million Dollar Baby personified.

Feature image: Instagram/@energized_show 

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According to research from Nielsen, 63 percent of people want to see Ireland's sportswomen honoured as national heroes in the same way as sportsmen.

Irish journalism focused on women in sport is in dire need of improvement, and today Investec has launched it's inaugural 20×20 Media Awards to recognise excellence in this field.

The 20×20 Nielsen Sports Study found that just a shocking three percent of print and four percent of online coverage was dedicated to women’s sport in Ireland: it's time for improvements.

The Federation of Irish Sport presented Investec as a sponsor for 20×20 in order to provide more support for women in sport.

Greater cultural recognition is one way to start; broadcast, print and online journalists are being invited to submit entries on women in sport to it's latest awards competition.

Investec has curated an expert panel of judges for their 2019 Media Awards;

Anna Kessel as chairwoman; Mary O’Connor, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport; Michael Cullen, CEO of Investec; Sarah Colgan, CEO of  Along Came A Spider and 20×20 co-founder and Gordon D’Arcy, former Irish International rugby player.

Nielsen Sports were commisioned by 20×20 to monitor media coverage of sport, which resulted in quite discouraging statistics. 

20×20 has estimated television coverage of women's sport is less than 12 percent, and 59 percent of Irish people believe that the media should do more to promote female sport.

57 percent of people want to see equality in female and male sporting role models in the media, and 63 percent of the public would love to see Irish women being given the same 'national hero' status as men.

Anna Kessel, chairwoman of Investec 20×20 Awards said: “In celebrating women's sports journalism the Investec 20×20 Media Awards are sending out a very powerful message: women's sport is amazing, and of value."

"For every sports editor who's ever wondered if it's worth covering; to every coach who questioned whether girls needed encouraging, and to every sports’ governing body deliberating over how much to invest in their female athletes this year, this initiative makes it clear: women's sport matters."

The objective of 20×20 is to increase the level of coverage of women’s sport across media by 20 percent by the end of 2020, according to its founder, Sarah Colgan.

Gowan girlos, you deserve a medal. Like Katie Taylor-sized medal. Multiple medals, actually…

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World Champion Katie Taylor's father Pete Taylor reported to be among three men who were shot at Bray Boxing Club this morning. 

Gardaí confirmed that one man aged 50 has died following a shooting incident. 

Pete Taylor and one other man have been taken to hospital to be treated for their injuries. 

There is no formal information on their condition. 

According to Dublin Live, Pete was shot in the arm.

Pete Taylor founded the boxing club where the incident occurred. 

 

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Following examination of CCTV in the area, Gardia are appealing for information for a silver coloured Volkswagen Caddy with Northern Irish plates.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Bray Garda Station on 01 6665300.

Correction – At the time of publishing, the deceased was misreported as being aged 30.

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Katie Taylor has won her third boxing fight in a row, after taking out Monica Gentili in London last night.

The Bray native came out swinging and set the pace for most of the fight, swinging mainly head and abdomen shots towards Monica.

In the third round, Katie stepped it up a notch, coming at Monica with major aggression. The Italian fighter stood her own, but it was clear that Katie was a rank above the rest.

It then all came down to the fifth and final round, when Katie unleashed a fierce combination of knocks that sealed her victory.

It'll only be three weeks until we see the Dub fight again, as she's taking to the ring in Manchester.

Congrats, Katie!

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The public have taken to Twitter in their droves this afternoon following Katie Taylor's defeat to Mira Potkonen in the quarter final of the lightweight division in Rio.

The highly-respected boxer from Bray has lost her place in the Olympics following the shock defeat, but the Irish public are keen for Katie to know she's still a hero in their eyes.

"Gutted for #katietaylor. She is and always will be a true champion really felt for her giving interview," wrote one while another added: "Katie Taylor is an inspiration,in victory and defeat."
 

Reflecting on the loss, an incredibly tearful Katie attempted to maintain her composure as she fielded questions from reporters in the aftermath of the judges' decision.

"It's very disappointing. It's been a very, very tough year. Suffered a lot of losses this year," she explained.

Explaining that she gave it her 'best shot', Katie went on to thank everyone for their support, and admitted she thought the fight had been going her way.

Despite feeling 'prepared and confident', Katie acknowledges it's hard to maintain those levels, and gratefully accepted the reporter's remarks that following such an incredibly successful career so far she owes her fans nothing.

30-year-old Katie has won a staggering 18 gold medals in championship boxing

 

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It’s no secret that Katie Taylor is made of tough stuff and the boxing champion proved she’s not about to go soft any time soon when she used Twitter yesterday to deliver a rather harsh message.

As the world's Olympic golf hopefuls continue to drop out of the upcoming Rio games over fears surrounding the zika virus, Katie took to social media to give her opinion on the situation.

She wrote: “Another one bites the dust. I wonder what excuse the golfers would of made if there was no virus.”

Attached to the tweet was a link to Australian golfer Jason Day’s dropout statement.

Katie’s tweet came just after Day’s announcement and shortly before Shane Lowry added his name to the list of golfers – which already included Rory McIlroy – who will not be putting themselves forward for Olympic selection.

The golfers are concerned that the zika virus could potentially affect their families who would intend on travelling to Rio should they participate in the Olympics.

But no matter how many golfers drop out at least we know Katie will be there in fighting form.

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