By Chris Williamson & Elliot Foster, photos by Lawrence Lustig
Katie Taylor geared up for her next Stateside appearance with a stoppage win.
The Bray woman stopped her mandatory challenger on Saturday to move in to double figures in the paid code.
Taylor, a five-time world amateur champion and six-time European amateur champion, dominated against Kimberly Connor at the O2 Arena in London, exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The fight followed a similar pattern to her previous few, as part of the supporting cast to Dillian Whyte’s crunch heavyweight showdown against former WBO world champion Joseph Parker, but she managed to get a stoppage for the first time since last July as, with a swelling under her right eye, she had too much for the 15-year veteran American, who was stopped on her feet by referee Steve Gray after one minute and 42 seconds of the third round to successfully retain her WBA and IBF female lightweight world titles.
Taylor, 32, now moves forward to take on Cindy Serrano on October 6 in Chicago, as part of Eddie Hearn’s first Matchroom USA card.
The bill will be topped by Lincoln’s Callum Johnson as he challenges IBF light-heavyweight king Artur Beterbiev for the world title and will be screened exclusively live on Sky Sports in the UK as well as on the DAZN platform Stateside.
In a lively rematch of last December’s six round thriller, Conor Benn again beat Frenchman Cedrick Peynaud with an exciting but ragged ten round decision to earn the vacant WBA continental welterweight title at London’s O2 arena.
Peynaud started well and might have taken the opener with pressure from the southpaw stance and a number of jolting right hooks.
Benn fired back in the second, scoring a flash knockdown with a left hook before Peynaud responded well, making ‘the Destroyer’ appear ragged himself before the round ended.
Benn continued to land well with the straight right, a classic weapon against a southpaw before using superior movement to evade Peynaud’s assaults. Still, as the round closed, the Frenchman was landing once again with meaty hooks.
The fourth saw Benn settle down into more measured boxing as trainer Tony Simms implored his young fighter to evade Peynaud’s crude punches.
Peynaud trudged back to his corner at the end of the fifth with a cut above his right eye, with Benn beginning to take control of the contest. This superiority was underlined as Benn floored Peynaud in the seventh with a right to the body.
The crowd urged Benn to finish the fight in the eight, but as the young Brit closed the distance his sometimes untidy technique put him back in danger. Still, it looked as though most of the Frenchman’s will had been expended and in the ninth a crisp right hand buckled Peynaud’s knees and Howard Foster signalled a knockdown.
After ten entertaining rounds the judges scored it 98-91, 98-90 and 97-90 all for the 21-year-old Benn.