By Elliot Foster
York Hall, London - In her first defense of the WBA lightweight title, Olympic gold medal winner Katie Taylor (8-0, 4 KOs) won a ten round unanimous decision over a very game Jessica McCaskill (5-2, 3 KOs). The scores were 97-92, 97-92 and 98-91.
Taylor captured the title back in October with a dominant unanimous decision over Anahi Esther Sanchez.
McCaskill had only lost once, last June by way of split decision. She won four bouts in a row coming into this contest.
The fight, which topped Eddie Hearn and Matchroom’s final show of 2017 at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, was better than many expected as it was screened exclusively live on Sky Sports.
Taylor won wide and the scorecards may have looked comfortable, but it was far from it as ‘KT’ had to go through some bad spells, including having a point deducted for excessive holding, to prove her class.
McCaskill, for her part, gave as good as she had and deserves enormous credit for her performance against the former European and world amateur champion.
“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.
“I was created to box and I’d love to go back to Dublin in 2018 and unify the division.
“Whoever has the other belts, I want them all. This has been an incredible year for me, I’ve won a world title and I ultimately want to make history in the sport.”
There had been talk in the build-up to this fight that Matchroom and Eddie Hearn, who Taylor thanked in the aftermath, were looking to go back to Dublin with the 31-year-old in the New Year and further details will be revealed in due course regarding a homecoming for Taylor.