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In November 2020, ESPN released their most recent rankings for the women’s boxing pound-for-pound fighters. In the latest changes in the spots, Irish boxer, Katie Taylor, overtook former number one Claressa Shields to take the crown. But it’s not just ESPN. Ask The Ring and BoxRec and they’ll tell you: Katie Taylor is the best pound-for-pound female boxer in the sport today.
Coming off a decorated amateur career, which included gold medals at the Women’s World Championships, European Championships, European Union Championships and 2012 London Olympics, Taylor made her move to a professional career in 2016 and has been looking to replicate the same type of success.
Since her transition to pro boxing, Taylor has racked up 17 wins with 6 knockouts, and is the current, undisputed lightweight champion of the world — holding all four major world titles in boxing—WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO simultaneously. She’s only one of eight boxers in history (female or male) to accomplish this feat.
You have to put absolutely everything into your craft. There are days when you’re not going to be in the mood for training, but they are the days which are most important. They are the days when you have to push yourself to the gym and put everything into those sessions.KATIE TAYLOR REVEALS TRAINING PLAN THAT HELPED HER WIN THREE WORLD LIGHTWEIGHT TITLES | SKY SPORTS
Katie Taylor’s training routine & diet
Back in 2009, during her amateur days, Taylor was training twice a day, six days a week. The mornings would be dedicated to strength & conditioning – either a running session or weightlifting — and the afternoons would be for boxing work — heavy bag, pads and sparring.
Not much has changed since her move to the professional world — Taylor is still training twice a day, six days a week with a rest day on Sundays. “In the mornings I could be doing a running session or a weights session or a pads session in my gym in Bray,” she told Independent.ie. “In the evenings, I am in the ring in the gym sparring and doing technical work as well as punching the bags. The two sessions are very high intensity.”
Part of being a boxer is the daily road work needed to build the stamina and cardio endurance required for 10-12 rounds of moving around the ring. The Irish boxer likes to mix it up, adding in sprint work and running sessions up a hill or mountain. “A lot of hill runs actually, it’s so important that your legs are strong. I train in Connecticut, so there’s a lot of mountains there, and even the road ones are very hilly at times,” she told Sky Sports.
For her weight sessions, Taylor’s strength coach likes to keep it old school, focusing a lot on bodyweight exercises like push ups and chin ups as well as sledge hammer work. “My coach is actually really old school, we do nothing fancy during training. We do bench presses as well as squats. Those are the things that never go out of fashion.”
“Each session would last around one-and -a-half to two hours. So I am training four hours a day between either bags, cardio or a strength session. We have to do a bit of everything in boxing and every session is very different.” In between sessions, Taylor is getting in food and rest for recovery.
Taylor typically spars two or three times a week leading up to a fight. She prefers sparring with males, something she’s been doing early on in her boxing career. “I’ve often said that some of my sparring sessions are harder than some of my fights,” she revealed. “I would spar with Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan quite a bit; I don’t think many of the people I come up against will be half as good as those guys so I’m very lucky to be able to get those rounds in.”
When it comes to her diet, Taylor’s mum helps out with cooking her food, making sure she has the right food and nutrients for her recovery. A typical daily meal plan looks something like this:
My breakfast would be porridge with Manuka honey and berries. I have three main meals a day which are breakfast, lunch and dinner and then I have snacks in between. The lunch could be chicken and pasta and the dinner would be similar to that with green vegetables. It’s important for me to get a lot of carbohydrates in. I try to have a healthy balance. I don’t have a special diet, I just a try to be very balanced. For snacks, I would have yoghurt and then fruit in between.Boxer Katie Taylor lends her top fitness tips | Independent.ie
The lightweight champion doesn’t let her weight fluctuate too much in between fights, normally walking around at 62-63 kgs which is a few kilos above the 59 kgs lightweight limit. “I have to kind of get down from that then, but the last kilo is always a killer to get off. I usually barely make it and step on to the scales at 59.9kg,” she revealed.
Getting enough sleep for Taylor is critical to recovering from all the intense training she does throughout the day. On a typical day, she’s asleep at 11pm, and awake at 8am, aiming to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
Slow and steady wins the race. Every single day, just hone your craft, just turn up to the gym, and just work on those things. Eventually you will see your progress.Katie Taylor reveals training plan that helped her win three world lightweight titles | Sky Sports
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