Katie Taylor is still champion after exciting victory over rival Natasha Jonas.
Over nine years in the making, unified lightweight champion Katie Taylor, who defeated amateur rival Natasha Jonas in 2012, edged Jonas over 10 fast rounds to retain her world titles at Manchester Arena in Manchester London, England Saturday night.
All three judges had Taylor the winner by scores of 96-94, and 96-95 twice.
Taylor, who also holds The Ring world lightweight title, did her thing in the round one. What’s her thing? Bouncing and scoring. Jonas, a southpaw, pursued and fired lefts. Taylor, with the faster hands, moved in and out. She landed a right and left to likely bank the round.
Jonas tried to get off first in round two. Taylor,34, pumped her jab and let a combo go. Jonas jabbed. Taylor was the busier fighter. Taylor continued to be the aggressor in round three. Jonas,36, opened a little, but Taylor peppered her. Jonas went to the body.
Taylor (18-0, 6 KOs) landed a good right in round four. She circled and fired. A left knocked Jonas (9-2-, 7 KOs) off balance. Jonas countered back. Taylor connected with a right and left. In round five, Taylor clipped Jonas with a sweeping left hook. She worked downstairs. Jonas moved forward slowly. Taylor landed two inside shots.
Jonas upped the ante in round six. Taylor looked to counter. Jonas connected with a right. She also landed a left. Taylor fought back. Jonas smacked Taylor with a hook. The challenger’s round. Taylor connected with a combo in round seven. Jonas landed a straight left. Taylor landed a left, Jonas went to the body.
Taylor connected with rights in round eight. Jonas went to the body with a sweet left hook to the belly. That one had to hurt. Taylor fought back with lefts. Jonas landed an uppercut. Taylor scored with shots in round nine. She let her hands go. Jonas, with the heavier hands, fired a few lefts that Taylor dodged.
In the 10th and final round, Taylor clipped Jonas with a left. Jonas jolted her with hooks. Taylor flurried back in the last minute of the round to secure her victory.
“I thought I won the championship rounds,” said Taylor. “She’s a tough fighter.”
“I knew the fight was close,” Jonas said.