Katie Taylor becomes unified women's world lightweight champion

Katie Taylor becomes unified women's world lightweight champion

By Declan Taylor, New York

Katie Taylor produced one of the most complete performances of her professional career to unify her WBA lightweight title with the IBF belt at the Barclays Center last night.

The five-time amateur champion made reasonably easy work of three-time world champion Victoria Bustos, who had been described as the hardest opponent of her career to date.

As such, all three judges returned wide cards, with two scoring it 99-91 and the third 98-92.

In truth, it was hard to make a case that Bustos won two of the 10 rounds as Taylor racked up an early lead with a patient start before putting her foot down in the closing stages.

But she may never face a tougher opponent in her career as the Argentinean, who somehow stayed on her feet throughout despite Taylor's regular attacks to both head and body with straight back hands and sharp left hooks.

Taylor, however, was unable to force a late stoppage, meaning she has now gone the full 10-round distance three times in a row, further proving her mettle in distance fights.

Taylor told Examiner Sport: “She was very very tough but you don't become a champion for five years without being that tough I guess.

“I said before that she was a great champion and a proven champion and I knew that she would be there for the 10 rounds, I expected that.”

The crowd at the Barclays Center were on their feet in the closing stages as Taylor poured forward in search of a stoppage, meeting Bustos head on in centre ring and unloading uppercuts and hooks.

She shipped a fierce uppercut herself, which jolted her head backwards, but it did not knock her out of her stride.

On the performance, the Bray star added: “It was a very tough fight obviously but I thought I was very patient early on.

“I knew it would be that type of fight because she's a good counter puncher.

“I thought I did box clever early on, racking up the rounds and then I had a go near the end and she came on strong too.

I was trying to stamp my authority on the fight at the end and I thought I was good overall.

Promoter Eddie Hearn, meanwhile, was delighted with the performance.

He told Examiner Sport: “I thought Katie Taylor was out of this world. And the most pleasing thing was to see the reaction from people.

“There were a lot of Irish people in here tonight and everybody was on their feet at the end of the fight.

“They absolutely loved it and she's growing into a huge star here.”

Elsewhere on the card, which was topped by Daniel Jacobs' points win over Maciej Sulecki, New York-based Monaghan man Larry Fryers suffered the first defeat of his career as he was stopped by Nikolay Buzolin in the sixth and final round of their light-welterweight clash.

More in this Section

Donegal chairman: 'The fundraising and sponsorship nearly takes up your whole year'Donegal chairman: 'The fundraising and sponsorship nearly takes up your whole year'

Mayo GAA secretary thanks Tim O'Leary in annual reportMayo GAA secretary thanks Tim O'Leary in annual report

Barrister makes doping allegations against Shane Sutton over Tour of IrelandBarrister makes doping allegations against Shane Sutton over Tour of Ireland

Injured Stones ruled out of Dinamo Zagreb clashInjured Stones ruled out of Dinamo Zagreb clash


Lifestyle

They’re the best air purifiers around so we should grow more houseplants all year round, says Peter Dowdall.Not just for December: The reason why she should grow more houseplants all year round

Let's face it — for the first few years of a child’s life you can dress them exactly how you want to.Alison Curtis: Clothes shopping with your young girl can be a tricky thing to do

Lizzo, Demi Lovato and Ashley Graham are among those prompting us to practise a little more self-love.5 times celebrities reminded us to be body positive in 2019

Wondering about wine for the big day? Leslie Williams has all the options, for every taste and budget.Something from the bar: The perfect drink selections this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner