Jacobs vs Sulecki: Katie Taylor unifies world titles with classy decision win
By Matt Horan
Last Updated: 29/04/18 6:01pm
Katie Taylor boxed masterfully to outpoint Victoria Noelia Bustos and unify the WBA and IBF lightweight world titles in Brooklyn.
Making just her ninth appearance in the paid ranks, the former amateur standout lit up the Barclays Center with a classy showing as she took a unanimous decision win via scores of 99-91 twice and 98-92 to add Bustos' IBF belt to her collection.
The opening round saw WBA champion Taylor make a blistering start, beautifully picking her shots as she rhythmically moved in and out of range, setting the tone for what would be a one-sided contest.
The Irish sensation was in no mood to give her Argentinian counterpart a moment to breathe from the off and a flurry of combinations forced Bustos back against the ropes for most of the second period.
In complete command, Taylor eased up in the next as the action slowed slightly but she returned to her devastating best in the fourth, a flush combination doing damage before a ramrodding right rocked the Argentinian's head back.
Eye-catching rights again planted on the face of Bustos in both the fifth and sixth before a beautifully picked left hook wobbled the gutsy South American the round after.
With victory seeming a certainty for Taylor, the IBF champion Bustos came out firing in the eighth to have her best round of the night. A series of uppercuts finding a home on the inside for 'La Leona' before the two champions planted their feet and traded leather for leather in an enthralling two minutes of action.
Again they went toe to toe in a brilliant final period as the crowd rose to their feet to applaud the pair before the verdict was announced.
"I'm so happy right now, it's always been my dream to unify. It was a tough contest, I had to work for every second and I had to be sharp," a delighted Taylor said afterwards.
"I had to be clever from the start, she was a good counter puncher and came on strong at the end, I think I mixed it up well.
"She just kept coming, I was prepared for a tough 10 rounds, I have to thank my whole team for the preparations, we had a great camp.
"There's probably a bit too much fight in me but it's great to entertain the fans. I'm there to fight anyone, I'm lucky to have some great champions in my division and I want all the belts."