Katie Taylor secured a thrilling unanimous decision victory over Christina Linardatou, to make her only the third Irish boxer, male and female, to win a world title at two different weight classes. Taylor now holds the lightweight WBA, WBO, WBC and IBF world titles, along with the WBO super-lightweight title.
The 2012 Olympic gold medallist now boasts a flawless 15 professional fight win-streak as she completely out-boxed Linardatou to take the unanimous decision 96-94, 97-93, 97-93, at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night.
In the first round, Linardatou who boasts a record of 12 wins and 2 losses, came out as the aggressor forcing Taylor to onto the back foot. Taylor’s superior movement and footwork to stay out of trouble and land with her quick combinations.
The following rounds took a similar pattern with Linardatou launching big shots and at times catching Taylor, who herself had a clear game plan of boxing smartly on the outside, keeping her distance.
There was little between the two as Taylor was picking her shots smartly and using the full width of the ring. Linardatou tried her best to close the gap and continued to fight aggressively throwing caution to the wing. Taylor was caught with a large haymaker and had to navigate several rounds with hefty swelling above her right eye.
Taylor was winning on the scorecards but it wasn’t a formality. Her quick combinations and hand-speed kept her active but Linardatou always posed a knock-out threat with her wild and aggressive style.
Unlike her previous fight against Delfine Persoon last June, Taylor was content boxing from range and scoring as opposed to going toe-to-toe with a strong and dogged fighter.
In the end, Taylor’s world-class movement and speed enabled her to avoid any heavy punches and take the decision on the scorecards.
“We knew Christina was the best 140-pounder in the division and we knew this was going to be a tough 10 rounds. I boxed beautifully on the outside and I boxed smart for a change instead of getting stuck in to a fight,” Taylor told Sky Sports.
She is eyeing a rematch with Belgian Persoon or the making of the much-anticipated match with Amanda Serrano.
“I dug deep against Persoon and came out with victory and now I am a two-weight world champion. I can’t wait for that rematch with Persoon and also a huge, huge fight with Amanda Serrano.”
A four belt lightweight world champion and now a super lightweight world champion, Taylor is undoubtedly one of the greatest champions Ireland has ever produced.
Katie Taylor is WBO super lightweight world champion, third ever Irish pro boxer to become a two-weight world champ— Sinéad Kissane (@sineadkissane) November 2, 2019
Already undisputed lightweight world champ w/ WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF & The Ring Mag belts
15/15 pro wins
5 x World Champ Gold
6 x Euro Gold