Katie Taylor overcomes scare to retain WBA lightweight title

Pauline Gross
December 15, 2017

"Katie ran a lot and potshotted, I thought beforehand that she wanted a fight in the middle of the ring".

Taylor's promoter Eddie Hearn warned: "It's a risky fight".

"There was a bit of holding in there and it wasn't my best performance, but I'm delighted and privileged to fight at York Hall and keep hold of my title", Taylor told Sky Sports afterwards.

"Whoever has the other belts, I want them all".

As little as Taylor allows grudge enter her thinking, McCaskill's camp had certainly pressed some of the right buttons.

Tonight's fight comes just six weeks after Taylor's tiring ten-rounder in Cardiff and many might question the wisdom involved fighting so soon after winning the world title.

The champion slipped in the second but was on her feet in an instant as McCaskill tried to draw her in.

Katie Taylor overcomes scare to retain WBA lightweight title

Tonight she puts her world title on the line that she won earlier this year the first time against American Jessica McCaskill - who has been talking a good game all week and without doubt will be coming to win. Despite her inclination to go toe-to-toe, Taylor remained patient and kept boxing from a distance.

And immediately after clinching victory over McCaskill, Taylor insisted her attention for 2018 will be to take on the best and to unify her weight.

Following a Taylor slip to the canvas, the American sent home some crunching shots, one short, sharp left landing cleanly in a tough round for the Bray lightweight.

The Irish fighter maintained a steady rhythm as McCaskill plowed away, trying to close the gap on the champion.

McCaskill looked for a dramatic big finish in the 10th round but it didn't come, Taylor beating her to the punch and continuing what she had begun in the first round.

The Irish sensation once again showed dazzling hand speed at times to take a points victory via scores of 97-92 twice and 98-91, improving her record to 8-0-KO4, but her Chicago opponent, who rocked the chin of Taylor on several occasions, was far from outclassed.

It was a courageous effort from the 33-year-old but the three judges went with the common view that Taylor would finish her 2017 eight wins from eight. Still a victor, still a WBA lightweight champion.

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