By Keith Idec
Katie Taylor won her first world title in impressive fashion Saturday night.
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 dropped Sanchez with a body shot in the second round and won convincingly by the same score on all three cards (99-90).
Sanchez, 26, is taller, younger and more experienced as a professional, yet none of those advantages prevented the 31-year-old Taylor from becoming a world champion in just her seventh pro bout.
Taylor, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, improved to 7-0 in a pro career that began just 11 months ago. Sanchez, who has been stopped just once in her four-year pro career, dropped to 17-3 (9 KOs).
The title was only on the line for Taylor because Sanchez couldn’t make weight Friday. The former champion weighed in at 136 pounds, one over the lightweight limit.
Taylor remained in complete control during the eighth and ninth rounds by repeatedly connecting with right hands that stopped Sanchez in her tracks.
An accidental clash of heads caused a brief break in the action at the 1:40 mark of the seventh round. A hard right hand snapped back Sanchez’s head violently with around 50 seconds remaining in the seventh.
Taylor snapped back Sanchez’s head with a right hand in a corner with about 50 seconds to go in the fifth round.
Sanchez was down in the second round and hurt in the third, but had some success in the fourth round. She landed multiple right hands later in the fourth that kept Taylor on her back foot.
An undeterred Sanchez kept coming forward throughout the third round, but Taylor staggered her with a right hand at the 1:05 mark of the round.
Taylor landed a perfect left hook to the body that dropped Sanchez with one minute to go in the second round. Sanchez got to her feet, though, and fought her way to the end of the second round.
Taylor landed several right hands in the first round that quickly established her as the superior puncher and faster fighter.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.