Undefeated Katie Taylor honored as female fighter of year

Katie Taylor has been selected as the 2019 Christy Martin award winner for female fighter of the year by the Boxing Writers Association of America, the organization announced on Monday.

Taylor won over nominees Amanda Serrano and Mariana Juarez in the voting of the seven-person committee made up of women's boxing experts. Taylor (15-0, 6 KOs), 33, of Ireland, who was a 2012 Olympic gold medalist and a 2018 Olympian, won her three fights in 2019 and made history along the way.

In March, Taylor defended her three lightweight world titles by knocking out Rose Volante in the ninth round. In June, she won a majority decision over Delfine Persoon in an action-packed slugfest to take Persoon's belt and become the first-ever undisputed women's lightweight world champion. On Nov. 2, Taylor moved up to junior welterweight and outpointed Christina Linardatou to win a world title in a second weight division.

"I'm honored and delighted to be receiving this," Taylor said. "This is one of the more prestigious awards in boxing. To receive it at the end of an amazing year is an even bigger honor.

"I think the biggest accomplishment this year was becoming the undisputed champion. Winning it at Madison Square Garden in one of the best fights of the year was huge for me, and huge for my country. It's something I always dreamed of since I turned pro."

Taylor is the third recipient of the award named for Martin, the women's boxing trailblazer who will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in June. Undisputed welterweight world champion Cecilia Braekhus won the inaugural award in 2017 followed by Claressa Shields, a former unified super middleweight titlist and the reigning undisputed middleweight champion, in 2018.

Taylor will be honored along with the rest of the award winners -- who have not yet been determined -- at the BWAA's 2020 awards dinner, which is being planned for the spring at a site and date to be determined. Taylor could make more history in 2020 as a fight against Braekhus is in the works.