The Bray lightweight,the No. 1 seed in the 60kg class,meets Mira Potkonen of Finland at 3pm (Irish time) for a place in the semi-finals and at least bronze.
The 60kg four-rounder is the 1st bout on the program on the 10th day of competition at the Pavilion 6 venue.
Taylor,who won three fights to claim gold at the last Olympiad,will be appearing in her fourth Olympic bout four years ago this month after she finished on top of the 60kg podium at London 2012.
The meeting is her first Olympic outing under the 10-point must scoring system,which has replaced computer scoring.
Taylor and Potkonen hardly need an introduction at this stage.Taylor,30,beat the 35-year-old Finn at the 2014 and 2013 World and EU Championships and in a homecoming duel in her hometown of Bray in 2012.
Azerbaijan’s Yana Alexseevna and China’s Yin Junhua clash in the corresponding quarter-final this afternoon in Rio.
Taylor’s focus is on the top of the 60kg podium under the iconic shadow of Christ The Redeemer.
She said:“After I came back from London with a gold medal, my focus straight away was to defend it four years on. To stand on top of the podium in front of every other nation would be a privilege and an honour.”
The casual assumption that she’ll always win accompanies Taylor each occasion she answers an opening bell, but, paradoxically, 2016 decisions against the lightweight whose pursuit of excellence has defined the evolution of female boxing since she won her first World tile in New Delihi in 2006, have eased the weight of expectations.
“I feel less pressure now. People aren’t expecting me to walk through the competition.Those losses haven’t changed my mindset.”
Meanwhile,Michael Conlan,who spars with Taylor, got Irish boxing back on track yesterday with a morale-boosting win over Armenia. He’ll face Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin for a place in the semi-finals tomorrow.
“Win number one down, three to go! Thanks for the support as always. You guys have been unreal,”tweeted the two-time Olympian after his victory.
Conlan and Taylor are both seeded No.1 in their respective weights.
Between them the Wicklow and Belfast pair have won Olympic gold and bronze, six World Elite titles and seven European Elite gold medals.
They’ll be aiming to improve that haul over the next 24 hours.
Ireland have won four bouts and lost five in Rio so far, not counting walkovers against.
A fifth win this afternoon will deliver Taylor’s second successive Olympic medal and a 17th Olympic medal for Irish boxing.
Irish Draw Rio Olympics
August 7th (last 32)
60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) beat Andrique Allisop (Seychelles) 3-0
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) beat Zahir Kedache (Algeria) 3-0
August 8th (last 16)
49kg Paddy Barnes (Ireland) lost to Samuel Carmona (Spain) 1-2
August 9th (last 16)
60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) lost to Albert Selimov (Azerbaijan) 0-3
August 10th (last 16)
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) lost to Carlos Andreas Mina (Ecuador) 1-2
August 11th (last 16)
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) beat Tuvshinbat Byamba (Mongolia) 2-1
August 12th (last 16)
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) lost to Uziel Rodriquez (Mexico) W/O
August 13th (last 32)
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) lost to Shakhobidin Zoirov (Uzbekistan) 0-3
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) lost to Mohammed Rabii (Morocco) 1-2
August 14th (last 16)
56kg Michael Conlan (Ireland) beat Aram Avagyan (Armenia) 3-0
August 15th (Q/Final)
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Mira Potkonen (Finland)
August 16th (Q/Final)
56kg Michael Conlan (Ireland) v Vladimir Nikitin (Russia)
60kg (Lightweight) – Katie Taylor (Bray)
49kg (Light-flyweight) – Paddy Barnes (Holy Family)
52kg (Flyweight) – Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s)
56kg (Bantamweight) – Michael Conlan (Clonard)
60kg (Lightweight) – David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy & AIBA Pro Boxing)
69kg (Welterweight) – Steven Donnelly (All Saints)
75kg (Middleweight) – Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise)
81kg (Light-heavyweight) – Joe Ward (Moate & AIBA Pro Boxing)
Team Manager: Joe Hennigan
Coaches: Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger, John Conlan
Physio: Julianne Ryan
Sport Psychologist: Gerry Hussey
Doctor: Jim Clover