Katie Taylor knocked out her opponent Karen Elizabeth Carabajal to defend her light heavyweight championship at Wembley Arena in London on Saturday night.
Irish star Taylor was the overall winner, securing a 98-92 decision for judge Bence Kovacs, 99-91 for Karoline Puetz and a 100-91 shutout against Victor Loughlin.
Carabajal was undefeated in 19 fights before meeting Taylor. But she has never boxed outside of Argentina before and has never fought anyone at the championship level. In the end, she excelled.
Taylor, who became an expert at this position in 2016, showed superior hand speed, footwork and greater accuracy, and pushed home her advantage in the second half of the match.
Carbajal felt the full weight of Taylor’s punches in the fifth round as the Irish woman’s timing improved and the left-right combination had the South American’s heart pounding.
Taylor showed her full potential in the seventh round and emphasized her superiority with three unanswered punches. In the eighth round Carbajal was knocked off balance by two quick left hooks.
Carbajal came out reeling in the ninth round and was cut on the right side of her face as a result of a head-on collision.
Taylor took the fight to the final round, but in typical fashion she chased the top position as right hands knocked her opponent away.
“She’s definitely a tough fighter. She got everything she could get here tonight but I thought I boxed well. She was scary at times. But I’m happy to get the win,” he said. Taylor later.
“22 fought, 22 won. Still not won, still not argued, that’s what’s happening.”
This is Taylor’s seventh consecutive defense of the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 135lb titles, and the first since claiming a victory over arch-rival Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden in New York in April .
A rematch with Serrano would be exciting but Taylor’s main goal is to secure the next arena fight.
“Whether it’s Amanda Serrano or not, we want the fight in Croke Park. 80,000 people. Every single person here will be in it,” she said.
“That will be the biggest in the history of women’s boxing.”
Watch Vasily Lomachenko vs Jamaine Ortiz, live on Sky Sports Stadium at 1am on Sunday.