Ireland’s Katie Taylor claimed her first world title as a professional on Saturday night, as she outpointed Anahi Esther Sanchez over a rough, physical ten rounds at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
After pipping a pretty uneventful first round, Taylor almost closed the show in the second, dropping her Argentine opponent with a vicious and beautifully placed body shot. Sanchez was in obvious agony as she knelt on the canvas listening to the referee’s count, but she bravely climbed to her feet. Taylor really went for the finish in the embers of the stanza but Sanchez managed to survive the onslaught.
In the third, Taylor wobbled Sanchez with a big right hand but the teak tough 26-year-old just kept coming and even found some success with wild rights hands of her own as the session wore on.
Perhaps over-eager to end the fight in spectacular fashion, Taylor became a little wild and allowed herself to be dragged into something of a tear-up with Sanchez, who looked the bigger fighter. Thus, the Olympic gold medalist took a few more shots than she is accustom too. Still, she was simply too good and too busy for the courageous but plodding Sanchez, who did well to stand up to a brutal quartet of Taylor rights in the seventh.
In the end, all three judges scored the fight 99-90 in favour of Taylor, who scooped the WBA lightweight title that Sanchez vacated when she missed weight on Friday.
“This is the start of the takeover for me,” said Taylor afterwards, adding that she intends to unify all the major titles in the lightweight division.
— Gav Mac 🦁 (@VillanGav) October 28, 2017
— Ross O'Dwyer (@ross_odwyer) October 28, 2017
— Oisin Langan (@oisinlangan) October 28, 2017
— Gary Spike OSullivan (@spike_osullivan) October 28, 2017
Congratulations to Ireland's newest World Champion @KatieTaylor 😁
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) October 28, 2017
Katie Taylor 👏👏
— Paddy Barnes Q OLY (@paddyb_ireland) October 28, 2017
— Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton) October 28, 2017
— Seán Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA) October 28, 2017
— John Joe Nevin (@johnJoeNevin) October 28, 2017
When I grow up, I wanna be like @KatieTaylor 🥊💙
— Steve Collins Jr (@StevieCollinsJR) October 28, 2017
If every fight is as entertaining as that, the second act of Katie Taylor’s career is going to be a hell of a ride. What a champion.
— Niall Kelly (@niallkelly) October 28, 2017
— Stephanie Roche (@StephanieRoche9) October 28, 2017
@KatieTaylor just collected her first of many world tittle belts , congrats Katie doing the country proud 🥊🇮🇪
— Jason Quigley (@jay_quigley) October 28, 2017
Well done Katie Taylor. One of the best athletes this country will ever see #KatieTaylor
— Robert Hynes (@robhynes23) October 28, 2017
— Karl Kinsella (@KKino5030) October 28, 2017
— Paul McGrath (@Paulmcgrath5) October 28, 2017
— Miriam Kennedy (@Miriam_Kennedy) October 28, 2017
— Ian Champ (@Champ_GFC74) October 28, 2017
Our girl done good! Olympic Champion now World Champion @KatieTaylor… a true Celtic Warrior 🥊
— Sheamus (@WWESheamus) October 28, 2017
— Dee Hayes (@DeeHayes) October 28, 2017
Congratulations @KatieTaylor very good performance.
— Barry McGuigan (@ClonesCyclone) October 28, 2017