Katie Taylor unifies WBA and IBF lightweight titles with latest victory

Katie Taylor unifies WBA and IBF lightweight titles with latest victory

Taylor added the IBF title to the WBA she won last year.

By John Balfe - 29 Apr 2018

Katie Taylor has joined a rarefied class in the annals of Irish boxing by becoming just the third Irish boxer to ever unify divisional titles after an impressive victory against Victoria Noelia Bustos in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday night.

The former Olympic, World and European champion was brought the distance by the tough Argentine Bustos though the Irishwoman’s class shone through in almost every round as she won easily on the scorecards —¬† two on scores of 99-91 and one of 98-22. With the victory Taylor unified the WBA and IBF lightweight titles, halfway towards the goal of winning all four of the major titles in her division.

She now becomes the third Irish boxer to unify boxing titles following Ryan Burnett and Carl Frampton in just her 9th bout as a professional.

Taylor emerged to The Cranberries’ ‘Zombie’, likely in a tribute to the recently deceased Dolores O’Riordan, and dominated the early exchanges of the fight behind her jab, a technique which appeared to flummox her opponent who was unable to land anything of note in return.

Bustos, in her sixth defense of the IBF title, refused to give in but as the fight wore on it was clear that Taylor was the superior fighter, though Bustos refused to relent even after landing just four punches in the sixth round.

In the end she made it to the final bell but there was to be no doubt as to who would have her hand raised.

“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 said 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.”

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