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Katie Taylor wins first professional world title by beating Anahi Sanchez

Katie Taylor now holds the WBA title
Katie Taylor now holds the WBA title

Katie Taylor has won her first professional world title after stopping Argentina's Anahi Sanchez to become the WBA lightweight champion.

The 31-year-old from Ireland, a decorated amateur who won an Olympic gold medal to complement five World Championship and six European Championship golds, also did so in only her seventh professional fight.

Sanchez, who had forfeited her title after twice on Friday failing to make weight, was - unlike Taylor - therefore ineligible to win the title at Cardiff's Principality Stadium regardless of the fight's outcome.

Following an early knockdown Sanchez impressively recovered to force Taylor into her hardest fight, but could not prevent three scores of 99-90 in a unanimous decision from the judges.

Taylor instantly fought with both belief and aggression, perhaps aware there was an opportunity to capitalise on her opponent's struggle to make weight.

She sent the 26-year-old to the canvas with a powerful left hook to the body in the second round from which she did well to recover, and in the third landed a hurtful left-right combination.

Sanchez remained a both game and resilient opponent, her class ensuring she also landed on Taylor even if her Irish opponent was almost always edging their exchanges.

In the seventh Taylor snapped her opponent's head back with a powerful right hand that left the two-weight champion fighting to survive, but in the following round she again impressively fought back.

What had threatened to be an one-sided contest after the early knockdown had become competitive in the final stages of the 10 two-minute round contest, but as both tired, Taylor's superior ability continued to show and her victory was confirmed.


From Belfast Telegraph