Tuesday 17 July 2018

Katie Taylor is crowned as world champion after sensational display in Cardiff

99-90 win on the scorecards

CARDIFF, WALES - OCTOBER 28: Katie Taylor (L) and Anahi Sanchez in action during their WBA Lightweight World Championship contest at Principality Stadium on October 28, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - OCTOBER 28: Katie Taylor (L) and Anahi Sanchez in action during their WBA Lightweight World Championship contest at Principality Stadium on October 28, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Katie Taylor has been crowned as the WBA Lightweight champion after a spectacular performance to defeat her gutsy rival Anahi Sanchez in Cardiff.

After confusion on Friday as Sanchez was forced to vacate the WBA world title as she failed to make the weight, only Taylor could leave the ring as a world champion and the Irish hero was at her brilliant best as she claimed a comprehensive points win to secure one of her greatest victories.

Displaying all of her wonderful talents as she unleashed electrifying combinations that had Sanchez in trouble time and again, Taylor took longer than expected to deliver victory that seemed inevitable from the first round.

Yet she was to get the glory she craved in the end, as Ireland could hail their golden girl as she marched to a comprehensive 99-90 win on all three scorecards.

Taylor stepped onto the front foot in familiar fashion from the first bell in front of a huge crowd in the Welsh capital, with her flurries of punches leaving her experienced opponent in no doubt that she was in for a brutal night, with the occasional clubbing hook from the Argentine giving the Bray hero a reminder that she could not throw caution to the wind too soon in her first professional world title fight.

Round two saw Taylor sniffing victory, with a big hook to the body drawing a gasp from Sanchez putting the former world champion down and she did well to make it through to the bell to signal the second round. At one point, it seemed as if Irish celebrations would begin early in Cardiff, but this fight was to have additional chapters.

Sanchez showed real battling qualities in the third round as she tried to find her way back into the fight, yet a big right hand from Taylor left her reeling once again, and once again, the bell was needed to save the underdog from defeat.

Taylor’s hand speed was too much Sanchez and it seemed as if it was a matter of time before the 2012 Olympic gold medalist would overwhelm her opponent, with a crunching right hand in the seventh round again appearing to punch the ambition out of Sanchez, but she refused to surrender.

Even though Taylor was building up a huge points lead, she was showing signs of frustration that she could not finish off an opponent that would not buckle.

What a heroic display this was from a boxer who showed real ambition even though she knew she could not reclaim the title belt she cherished even with a victory.

Taylor had never been taken into the latter round of a fight in her brief professional career and even in the tenth, the two warriors were trading blows in a battle that was one-sided and compelling in equal mesure.

Then the moment of glory was confirmed. Katie Taylor is a world champion. Rejoice!

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport