Katie Taylor has maintained her unbeaten record
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Katie Taylor took her undefeated record to 17 with a points-victory defence of her WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine lightweight world titles against Miriam Gutierrez at Wembley Arena on a history-making card which featured three women’s world title contests for the first time in the UK.
Taylor, stalking her foe with clever footwork and getting inside to launch body-to-head attacks, dropped Gutierrez in the fourth round, and dominated her rival through the first seven.
As Taylor fatigued in the last three rounds, a game Gutierrez fought back, but Taylor was too far ahead on the cards. The Spaniard, 37, suffered her first loss in her 14th contest against the brilliant Irish boxer, and undisputed lightweight champion. She was barely able to withstand a phenomenal and aggressive start from Taylor, who had said that Gutierrez was "better than people expect" in the build-up, but treated her challenger to heavy, fast salvos from the off.
Taylor was the mistress matador to the bullish Madrilenian. After physically demanding back-to-back victories over Belgian Delfine Persoon in promoter Eddie Hearn’s back garden and at Madison Square Garden in June 2019 in her last two outings, this was more of a showcase encounter for the County Wicklow fighter, the match-up of styles allowing the 34 year-old to display her finer skills. She did it with aplomb.
Earlier, Doncaster’s Terri Harper kept her unblemished 12-fight career in tact when she defended her WBC and IBO super-featherweight world titles against Katharina Thanderz. Harper produced a perfect performance behind a ramrod jab as the Norwegian was kept at bay, dominated by boxing’s basic, but most effective tool. Harper, having arguably put in the best shift of her career, handed Thanderz her first defeat in 14 fights by ninth-round stoppage.
Completing the women’s triumvirate, Rachel Ball defeated Jorgelina Guanini to claim the WBC interim super bantamweight title with a 10-round unanimous decision against the more experienced Argentine, with scores of 99-91, 99-91 and 99-92. Guanini, the IBF’s super flyweight champion, was a late replacement but after failing to make weight for the vacant WBA bantamweight world title, the two women fought at super bantamweight for the WBC’s interim crown.
Social worker Ball – who could not contain her delight afterwards, saying that she was "on top of the world" – had put herself into world title contention with a shock win over British rival Shannon Courtenay in August, in Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom’s Fight Camp series.