Katie Taylor is likely to make the first defence of her world title in Dublin in 2018 after outpointing Argentina’s Anahi Sanchez in Cardiff.
Taylor’s manager Brian Peter made the claim after watching the Bray fighter produce a superb display on the undercard of her Matchroom stable-mate Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight world title defence at the Principality Stadium.
“I’m just delighted to be world champion,” said Taylor. “Words can’t express how I feel.
“It wasn’t my best performance but I’m delighted to get bit wild at times and I left myself wide open.
“Thank God I came through. It was a very tough fight. This is the start of my take over of the lightweight belts for me I was going to unite them.
Great to wake up as World Champion today! Thanks to all for the support. We’re only getting started…💥 pic.twitter.com/hyK1My4fJK
— Katie Taylor (@KatieTaylor) October 29, 2017
Having failed to make the weight, Sanchez could not retain her WBA lightweight title, but victory for Taylor would see her take the belt and the 31-year-old dropped her opponent in the second round with a left to the ribs.
Despite not making the weight, Sanchez still carried a threat and produced some dangerous counter punching, but the better work throughout came from Taylor.
In just her seventh fight as a professional and a year after calling time on her amateur career, Taylor dominated ten round fight, which was shown live in the United States.
Despite finishing with a cut above her eye, all three judges scored the contest 99-90 in Taylor’s favour, to inflict just Sanchez’s third defeat in 20 fights.
Taylor, who won gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, was embraced in the ring by her family when the decision was announced.
Taylor may now look to pursue unification title bouts, as she has promised she will do, although she has also been linked with a clash with UFC fighter Holly Holm, who won multiple world titles as a boxer.
Delfine Persoon defends her WBC version of the lightweight title in her native Belgium in two week’s time, and could be a candidate for a Dublin unification contest with Taylor.
Argentina’s Victoria Bustos holds the IBF version and fellow Argentine Yohana Alfonzo the WBO belt.