Katie Taylor put in a dominant display to become the unified WBA and IBF lightweight champion after defeating Victoria Bustos in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York last night.
Taylor went into the bout as WBA lightweight champion after winning the belt in Cardiff last November, and left New York as only the third Irish boxer — after Ryan Burnett and Carl Frampton — to unify a division.
The 31-year-old Bray-native commanded the fight from the very first bell, attacking Bustos with her jab in the first three rounds as the limited Argentinian struggled to gain a foothold in the bout.
Taylor’s dominance persisted throughout the later rounds, with the sixth seeing Bustos land just four punches.
Taylor landed with a flurry of punches in the eighth while the ninth saw her almost finish the bout after connecting with a strong right on the chin of Bustos, who remained dogged in her attempts to see out the bell.
While Katie was unable to finish the fight, the result was never in doubt, and the judges ruled unanimously in favour of the 2012 Olympic gold medalist — with two judges scoring 99-91 in Taylor’s favour while the third scored 98-92.
“I’m thrilled to unify the titles. It’s a dream come true. It was a great fight and she was a brave opponent,” Taylor told Sky Sports after the fight.
“I had to be clever right from the start, she was a clever counter puncher, but I think I mixed it up well between boxing and fighting her tonight.”
WBO World champion Rose Volante of Brazil and WBC title-holder Delfine Persoon are prospective opponents for Taylor who will look to emulate Norwegian welterweight Cecila Braekhus, the only undisputed World champion.