Katie Taylor retained her world titles with a masterful shutout win against Eva Walhstrom.
The Bray boxer won 100-90 on all three cards as she comfortably outclassed her former amateur rival, extending her professional record to 12-0 in the process.
Wahlstrom – who holds the WBC super-featherweight title – had lost all three of her amateur bouts against Taylor, but entered last night’s fight at Madison Square Garden unbeaten in her previous 23 pro outings.
Taylor made her ring walk to The Pogues’ ‘Fairytale of New York’, and found her rhythm early in the fight.
She caught Wahlstrom with some crisp left hooks in the first, and unleashed some heavy body shots in the next two rounds.
The ‘Bray Bomber’s’ Finnish opponent adapted new tactics in the fifth as she struggled to cope with Taylor’s superior skill, attempting to go toe to toe with the former Olympic gold medalist.
Taylor continued to dominate the fight, eventually opening a cut on Wahlstrom’s forehead, but the 38-year-old Finn survived a late onslaught to hear the final bell.
Afterwards, Katie voiced her happiness with her performance.
“I thought it was a great performance, she came here to win so I knew it would be a great fight,” the 32-year-old told Sky Sports.
“Stoppages are hard to get against quality opponents, I’m very happy.
The Irish fighter also set her sights on four big fights in 2019.
“I want all four of them (Rose Volante, Delfine Persson, Amanda Serrano, and Cecilia Braekhus) next year,” she stated.
Taylor was making her Madison Square Garden debut on the undercard of Rocky Fielding’s world title defence against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Canelo ruthlessly dispatched Fielding within three rounds, dropping his English opponent four times with some ruthless body shots to claim the WBA super-middleweight world title.
The impressive victory made Alvarez a three-weight world champion, and
the Mexican middleweight did not rule out a completion of his controversial trilogy with Gennady Golovkin.