Katie Taylor turns professional and will make debut in London on 26 November

Katie Taylor missed out on a medal at the Rio Olympic Games
Katie Taylor missed out on a medal at the Rio Olympic Games

Ireland's London 2012 gold medallist Katie Taylor has turned professional and will make her debut at Wembley's SSE Arena on 26 November.

As expected, five-time world champion Taylor, 30, has signed a deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing.

The Bray woman has been linked with a move to the professional ranks since missing out on a medal at the Rio Olympic Games in August.

"I'm excited for the road ahead," said the Irishwoman.

"When I first dreamt of Olympic gold, female boxing was practically unknown.

"Now because of my journey and the incredible supporters who came along with me, female boxing is as much part of the fabric of the Olympics as its male counterpart.

"I want to do the same for the professional sport and I hope those who have supported me along the way will come along with me."

After her professional debut, Taylor will then fight on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's second defence of his IBF world heavyweight title at the Manchester Arena on 10 December.

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn
Eddie Hearn says Taylor is an "incredible role model"

Taylor decision 'significant for boxing' - Hearn

Promoter Hearn described's Taylor's decision as a "significant day for our sport".

"She is one of the most decorated amateur boxers of all time and a public icon in Ireland," said Hearn.

"I met Katie for the first time last week and was fascinated by her desire to not just win world titles but to break down the barriers of women's boxing. She is an incredible role model."

Taylor lost narrowly to Finland's Mira Potkonen at the quarter-final stage of the women's lightweight competition at the Rio Games.

The Irishwoman's domination of the 60kg division was initially dented in April when she suffered a unanimous points defeat by Azerbaijan's Yana Alekseevna at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Turkey - her first defeat in five years.

She was subsequently beaten in the world championship lightweight semi-finals in May, finishing with bronze after losing on a split decision to France's Estelle Mossely in Kazakhstan.

Taylor has fought as an amateur since her first officially sanctioned fight aged 15 in 2003.

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