Taylor crushes Connor to retain World title

Ronan Mullen at The O2, London

Katie Taylor tonight extended her pro record to a perfect 10-0 with an emphatic win over challenger Kimberly Connor at London’s O2 arena.

The end came via TKO in the third, referee Steve Gray stepping in after a sustained, unanswered volley from the champion.

Katie Taylor and Kimberly Connor at the WBA & IBF World Lightweight Championship, at The O2, London. Photo: INPHO/Gary Carr

Taylor started as she would intend to go on, aggressively out-landing Connor at long and short distance, the technical disparity between the pair evident from the get-go.

What the Texan visitor lacked in polish she did compensate for with sheer ruggedness, Taylor marked under her right eye after one of many ungainly exchanges.

It was the Bray native’s assured lead right hand upstairs and left hook to the body which would duly tell the tale, however, the latter shot setting in motion the onslaught which closed the show.

“Never mind men’s boxing and women’s boxing, she’s one of the biggest stars in world boxing,” beamed promoter Eddie Hearn in the aftermath. “It’s onwards and upwards from here, she’s can be as big as she wants to be.”

Next on the agenda will be a return across the Atlantic it seems, Taylor slated to take on Puerto Rican-born Cindy Serrano come early Autumn.

Earlier on the card, there was disappointment for the Irish as Dublin’s Craig O’Brien eventually suffered a heavy stoppage defeat to former Olympian Anthony Fowler.

Far from overawed by the occasion, O’Brien mixed it well in the early going, operating smartly on the back foot whilst matching Fowler for work rate on the inside.

The scouser’s punishing body work eventually paid dividends, though, creating openings for the headshots which ultimately turned the tide.

A clubbing left hand in the early seconds of the sixth round brought a conclusive end to matters, O’Brien seen to by the ringside paramedics for several minutes following the close of the bout.

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