Katie Taylor has added the WBO world lightweight championship to her IBF and WBA crowns following a terrific TKO win over previously undefeated Rose Volante on Friday night.
The unbeaten Bray-native overcame an aggressive Volante to dominate large portions of the fight, including knocking her opponent down in the first-round, and pushing for the finish in the latter half.
Despite the finish seeming inevitable anywhere from the fifth-round, it was an accidental clash of heads in the ninth that brought proceedings to an end, as Taylor booked her place in a likely unification bout against WBC champ Delfine Persoon on the 1st of June.
As Katie made her way down to the ring for her Philly showcase with U2’s Vertigo booming in the background and the fans in attendance cheering her all the way, there was an air of sooner-rather-than-later surrounding her eventual win.
Here was the 12-0 pound-for-pound best women’s boxer on the planet, approaching the battlefield with a face of determined intensity, with an entrance theme that seemed to foreshadown the fate of whoever stepped in her way.
Once the bell rang, Volante attempted to overcome Taylor’s superstar aura by cutting the ring off and forcing her into the corner. While it was a brave strategy, Taylor was unmoved, as a big right-hand dropped the Brazilian inside the first minute.
Volante recovered and enjoyed a much-improved second but that was as good as it got for her, as the third and fourth-rounds saw Taylor reestablish her recognisable and insurmountable rhythm of quick flurries to the body and jaw.
Katie turned up the heat in the fifth, landing a crunching left-hand to the body which appeared to knock the wind out of her foe. Further quick-fire combinations followed, giving the finish a sense of inescapability.
The sixth, seventh, and eighth went the same way as the fifth, with Taylor searching for the KO win, while refusing to be drawn into a hand-to-hand brawl against the resilient yet increasingly frustrated and despondant Volante.
The result was an eventual end to the fight in the ninth — and penultimate — round of proceedings. Further flurries and combinations terrorised Volante, who attempted to trap Taylor in the clinch to bide some time towards the final bell of a fight that had already been lost.
Unfortunately for the Brazilian, a clash of heads caused a cut to her nose, forcing the referee to call a stoppage and hand Taylor her third world title.
IBF, WBA, and WBO champ Katie Taylor will next look to complete her collection and become the undisputed lightweight champion when she squares off with WBC titleholder Delfine Persoon, with the fight likely to take place in Madison Square Garden on the 1st of June.