Katie Taylor made easy work of Miriam Gutierrez as she retained her undisputed world lightweight title with a landslide unanimous points decision at the SSE Arena, Wembley.

Back at the venue where she made her professional debut four years ago, Taylor, 34, put in an immaculate performance. If there was any criticism it was only that she didn’t have the power to stop the Spaniard.

Gutierrez was only the floor from a whipping right hand at the end of the fourth round, but despite catching her repeatedly throughout, Taylor just couldn’t get rid of her.

The difference in levels was obvious, though. Gutierrez held the WBA’s interim title but was not in Taylor’s league. With another mandatory defence from the IBF due soon, Taylor needs tougher challenges than this to push her.

It was her ninth successful world title defence and second since becoming undisputed world lightweight champion by beating Delfine Persoon on New York last year.

“She was tough,” Taylor said. “She hung in there, she was big and strong. And she was heavy handed. She was dangerous when she was firing back.

“I really wanted the stoppage, I haven’t had one in a while. I thought I might get her out in the first, but that proved to be very wrong.”

The difference in class was clear from the opening seconds. The Spaniard backed away into a corner and pawed out a slow jab. Taylor just jumped on her. When Gutierrez pressed forward, she telegraphed her shots, giving Taylor ample opportunity to attack.

Taylor kept her distance in the main, waiting for Gutierrez to leave openings. It did not usually take long, as the Irish boxer landed well with the left hook to body and head.

She made a fast start to the third round, landing a big right and then driving Gutierrez across the ring, trapping her in the corner and landing hooks with both hands. 

Gutierrez, 37, was on the floor at the end of the fourth, sent there by a blistering right-hand counterpunch the Spaniard probably didn’t even see coming. 

If Taylor lacks anything, it is finishing power. She went for the finish in the sixth, pinning Gutierrez on the ropes and landing punch after punch. The Spaniard soaked it all up, her nose looking increasingly sore, but her will still intact.  In the last three rounds, referee John Latham was hovering, keen to stop it. That she lasted the distance is to Gutierrez’s immense credit.

It was difficult to make a case for Taylor winning any part of any rounds, but two of the judges did. Mark Lyson scored one round level in a score of 100-90, while Victor Loughlin gave Gutierrez a round, scoring it 99-90. Bob Williams made it a shutout 100-89.

Taylor said she would be keen to box again as soon as possible, but Eddie Hearn wants her to have a break.

“If she had her way she would box again before Christmas,” Hearn said. “But I think she benefited from having a shorter camp for this fight. For the Persoon fight [in August] she was in camp for months, but this time it was just seven weeks and she was sharp. That was her best performance in a long time.”

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.