Katie Taylor: 'I prayed Anahi Sanchez would stay down'

Katie Taylor 'belongs on same stage as Anthony Joshua'

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

Taylor reigns as the Republic of Ireland's only world champion and is the first pro boxer to hold such a crown since Andy Lee lost his WBO middleweight strap in 2015.

The Irish star out-classed Argentina's Anahi Sanchez during their 10-round fight to win the WBA women's lightweight title on the Anthony Joshua-Carlos Takam undercard at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

Taylor was emphatic in her victory, reducing the durable Sanchez to her knees in the second with a thundering body shot and her comprehensive performance has made waves worldwide.

The Argentine did well to get to her feet at the count of eight and then survived a furious assault from Taylor, who landed right flush to the jaw and a left hook to the temple amid a blur of punches.

But the Bray fighter never looked in danger of suffering stage fright.

Both landed clean punches in the fourth but Taylor asserted some authority in the fifth when she landed a few clean punches to the head.

"It was tough, but I am delighted to be world champion".

But there was no escaping Taylor in the second when she collapsed the South American with a left to the body.

The cut above her eye failed to deter her late on as a five-shot combination found the target in the ninth.

Joshua's former Great Britain amateur boxing team-mate Kal Yafai unanimously out-pointed Japan's Sho Ishida, making a comfortable second defense of his WBA world junior bantamweight title, winning by scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112.

Well, we thought it was the pinnacle but Taylor herself described Saturday night as the biggest of her career. It was a very tough fight.

But throughout the contest Taylor had the edge in power and variety.

"I loved her attitude".

But there were signals also of the dangers at the highest level.

All the air in Sanchez's lungs was knocked clean out of her and she showed phenomenal courage to continue when everyone expected her to bow out.

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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