Friday night sees another historic event for Irish boxing with European, World and Olympic champ Katie Taylor taking to the ring to fight for the Irish lightweight title, the key word being 'fight'.
The noteworthy nature of the bout is two-fold.
One- the fight marks the first time that Taylor is actually being challenged for the title as she has had four consecutive walkovers for it. The challenger is 21-year-old Tipperary fighter Shauna O'Keeffe, who beat Clare's Kayleigh Murrihy-McCormack last Friday to earn the right to fight Taylor in the National Stadium tonight.
Two- this will also be the first time that Taylor takes to the ring without her father in her corner in close to a decade. Pete Taylor announced that he was taking a break from being in Katie's corner saying that he found it stressful watching his daughter fight and that they wanted to try something new.
In her corner instead will be the interim Ireland head coach Zaur Antia and Taylor's brother Lee. Pete Taylor also did not rule out a return to Katie's corner, telling RTÉ;
I’m taking a break from the corner. After years it can be stressful watching your daughter fight. But I’ll be there in the crowd in the front so we are trying new things at the moment so we’ll see how it goes this time.
The fight is an indicator of the effect that Taylor herself has had on women's boxing in Ireland, inspiring those around her to reach her level and to be able to challenge on an international level. The defending Olympic champion is the overwhelming favourite for this fight as she looks to build momentum headed into Rio 2016.