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Katie Taylor shows her class both inside and outside the ring

KATIE TAYLOR BECAME a unified world champion last night, but the Bray boxer has vowed once again that there’s much more to come.

She put on a stunning display in Brooklyn to end the five-year reign of Argentina’s Victoria Noelia Bustos as holder of the IBF World lightweight belt.

Taylor was awarded a unanimous decision victory by the judges, with two scores of 99-91 and the other 98-92, and now adds the IBF belt to her WBA crown.

The 31-year-old becomes just the third Irish boxer — along with Carl Frampton and Ryan Burnett — to unify word titles and is halfway to her ambition of becoming the undisputed lightweight champion of the world.

Two down, two to go, with the WBC and WBO straps to be added to her collection, and she stated her intent straight out after last night’s fight at Barclays Center.

“I want all the belts by the end of this year for sure,” she told Sky Sports Boxing out of the ring.

“I’m there to fight anyone, any of the champions. I said before, I’m so lucky to have some great champions in my weight division. There’s some great, great fights out there to be made.

“It’s always been my dream to unify this title. A tough, tough contest. I had to work for every second of every round there. She was obviously a proven champ coming into this fight so I knew I had to be sharp. I’m just so, so happy right now.”

She added, when asked if this was her best performance as a professional (9-0):

“Possibly, because I knew the quality of the opposition was much higher than before. It was definitely a tough, tough contest. I had to be clever right from the start. She’s a very good counter puncher and she came on strong near the end as well.

“I think I mixed it up well between boxing and fighting there tonight.”

“We sat in the office a year-and-a-half ago with a plan to become the undisputed world champion,” promoter Eddie Hearn said, as quoted by the Irish Times.

“Tonight she’s unified the belts against a very good fighter. Bustos deserves a lot of credit — she was immensely tough in there.

“Two belts down, two to go. It’s just a brilliant story. Katie Taylor, lighting up both sides of the Atlantic. We know they love her in the UK, Ireland; now they’re going to love her in America as well.
“We’ve got two more and we’d love to do it in 2018. Clean up the division in 2018 and maybe even move up. There’s some really big fights out there.”

Taylor was full of praise for Bustos’ performance and attitude afterwards, and paid a visit to her dressing room backstage to hand back her IBF belt after the 10-round contest.

A small, but brilliant gesture, as a new version of the title is now headed to Irish soil.


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