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Katie Taylor dominates Anahi Sanchez to win her first world title as a professional

Katie Taylor is champion of the world.

Gavan Casey reports from the Principality Stadium, Cardiff.

KATIE TAYLOR HAS won her first world title as a professional with a unanimous decision victory over Anahi Sanchez at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

The 31-year-old Bray woman dropped Sanchez in the second round with a succinctly-delivered left hook to the body – fast becoming her trademark shot – and never looked back.

While the majority of the city’s 70-odd-thousand fight-goers were still flocking to the arena during Taylor’s performance, she still received an enormous reception – the travelling Irish contingent on this occasion more prevailing than during her Wembley appearance in April.

There was a nod of intent from Taylor when it was noted by the MC that she hailed from ‘Bray, Ireland’ during the fighters’ introductions, and her intentions only got worse from there.

The five-time amateur world champion has set her stall out as a pro: she’ll take some to dish out more, and the opening stanza didn’t offer a break from the norm in this regard.

Such gambles tend to pay dividends when you’re faster than an opponent, and Taylor first reaped her rewards in both rounds two and three, dropping Sanchez with a superb left hook to the liver in the former, and wobbling her with a blistering combination in the latter.

Anahi Esther Sanchez with Katie Taylor Katie Taylor drops Anahi Sanchez with a left hook to the body. Lawrence Lustig / INPHO Lawrence Lustig / INPHO / INPHO

Sanchez had some success, too, drawing a notable ‘ooff’ from those in attendance early in the fourth, but it was Taylor who set the pace and dictated events having discovered early that the former champion’s power was manageable.

Credit the Argentine, though. A monstrous Taylor right hand in the seventh would have done for all of Taylor’s six previous opponents, but while frequently having her head snapped back during entertaining exchanges, Sanchez proved her mettle by seeing the fight out.

In the end, Taylor’s class was more than enough to see her home to Bray with the title, as she was awarded the fight 99-90 on all three judges’ scorecards.

‘La Indiecita’, hailing from Pergamino – a city in the province of Buenos Aires – entered the ring as the more experienced professional, but her record now reads 17-3, while Taylor moves to 7-0 in the paid ranks. Sanchez had already lost her WBA World lightweight title on the scales having failed on two occasions to make weight for tonight’s scrap.

Taylor, long established as an Irish sporting legend, picks up a first world title belt as a professional in what she described post-fight as ‘by far the biggest night of my career.’

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