Taylah Robertson will compete for the IBO World Super Flyweight title on Wednesday night (Image: Darren Burns/Ace Boxing Group; Design: Madeline Irwin)

Opportunity was all that Australian boxer Taylah Robertson needed.

From a young age, Robertson has been entrenched in boxing. She would train with her team, do the early morning running sessions, and even take the seven-hour bus trip to Bundaberg every weekend. 

The only difference – Robertson would sit on the sidelines, waiting for an opponent, while her teammates got to fight. Dejected in being unable to fight, the Queenslander took it upon herself to choose her own opponent. 

“For me it was never about picking and choosing opponents because it was just about fighting anyone,” she told The Inner Sanctum.

“My first official fight, I fought a girl 25 kilos heavier than me and won because that was the only other girl I’d ever seen at a boxing tournament at the time. Before that I had four exhibitions against males because I got to the point where I was weighing in at tournaments getting so disheartened that I started pointing out to all the little boys that looked around my height.” 

Oblivious to the international boxing scene, part of Robertson’s inspiration for the sport derived from 2004 Hollywood blockbuster Million Dollar Baby. Featuring a female protagonist, the movie gave Robertson hope in pursuing a career in boxing.

“Seeing a female lead in a boxing movie and her trials and tribulations of her trying to get fights, not being accepted into gyms, the disrespect she got, all the little problems that she had to try and get food in her mouth pursuing a career that was an outlet for her,” she said.

“It was an outlet for her to escape her life and give her a passion and purpose. I’m not saying I had the tough upbringing that she had, but it was more of the passion and how she found a purpose out of something that no one was allowing her to find, and I could really relate to that.”  

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Now Robertson (9-1, 2 KO) has the opportunity to become a world champion. Leading the next wave of Australian boxing talent, the 25-year-old will compete for the vacant IBO World Super Flyweight title on Wednesday night. Fighting at the Brisbane Powerhouse, Robertson will challenge for the belt in front of a home crowd. 

“It’s more of a sentimental feeling than a crucial feeling having my family there, having my friends there, having my whole team there because when you’re fighting overseas for these kinds of things, we can’t pay for our whole team to go overseas,” she said.  

“The fact that [this fight] is on home soil is even better because I can get the whole country behind me.” 

She will take on Mexican Gloria Gallardo (14-2-2, 6 KO) who has been undefeated for almost five years. The former IBO Flyweight champion has not lost a fight since May 2019 when she unsuccessfully challenged for the WBC International Flyweight title. With Gallardo’s two professional losses coming via judge’s decision, Robertson knows she will have a fight on her hands. 

“This opponent is no bum, she’s got a very good record. She’s got one of the highest knockout ratios in the flyweight division,” she said.

“I’m going into this fight knowing fully well that there’s someone else in front of me just as capable as me, but I’m going into this fight with a mentality that I will not take a loss as an answer.” 

Envying more world title opportunities, the Australian believes her title bout on Wednesday night is a perfect steppingstone.

“This belt leads me into bigger belts. This belt will set me up for the IBF belt, the WBO belt, all the other sanctioning bodies that I’m ranked number one in,” she said.

“This fight crosses that bridge for me to become a mandatory in all of those fields.” 

Robertson v Gallardo will feature as part of the ‘Premier Boxing Series’ this Wednesday night; a project formed by Ace Boxing and the Seven Network. The event is available for streaming on 7Plus.  

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