Katie is World Champion

Katie Taylor 'belongs on same stage as Anthony Joshua'

Katie Taylor: Irish boxer wins WBA lightweight title in points victory over Anahi Sanchez

She sent the 26-year-old to the canvas with a powerful left hook to the body in the second round from which she did well to recover, and in the third landed a hurtful left-right combination.

Taylor dominated her 10-round bout against Argentina's Anahi Esther Sanchez.

All three judges scored the fight 99-90 in favour of Taylor, for whom a fight in her native Ireland can't be too far away.

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However, Taylor - also capped 21 times for Ireland's senior women's team - was honest enough to admit that she had "prayed" the former world champion from Argentina would stay down after a handsome body shot which crumpled her foe in the second round.

But the Bray fighter never looked in danger of suffering stage fright. She landed multiple right hands later in the fourth that kept Taylor on her back foot.

She floored her opponent in the second round with a handsome left hand to the body.

The Argentine brought a threat of her own, landing some stinging counter punches as Taylor applied consistent pressure in a contest packed with the kind of heavy hitting which draws gasps from those in attendance.

Taylor snapped back Sanchez's head with a right hand in a corner with about 50 seconds to go in the fifth round.

She was simply quicker to the punch and, when the pair boxed at close quarters, Taylor always looked more willing to walk through punches and be the last of the two swinging.

Towards the other end of the weight scale, Birmingham's Kal Yafai was drawn into a technical chess match of slipped leads and cuffing jabs with the painfully slim but deceptively strong Japanese challenger, Sho Ishida, before wrapping up a comfortable points win to retain his WBA super-flyweight title. This was a very, very tough fight.

"I loved her attitude". The visitor also came with an unblemished record, 22 wins, but the last two of those were inconsequential blowouts of obscure Thai debutants, not quite the ideal preparation for a step up to this level. There were times where she was caught freely by Sanchez. That can only have added to her marketability.

The 31-year-old made the switch from amateur boxing just a year ago after winning everything there was to win in the amateur game.

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