Katie Taylor: ‘Win borne out of courage, determination, skill and stamina’

President and Taoiseach lead tributes to fighter on biggest night for women’s boxing

President Michael D Higgins led the tributes to Irish boxing champion Katie Taylor after she retained her world lightweight boxing titles saying it was "another fantastic achievement in her monumental career".

The 35-year-old boxer from Bray, Co Wicklow, beat challenger Amanda Serrano from Puerto Rico in front of a sell-out crowd of almost 20,000 people at Madison Square Garden in New York City in the biggest fight in female boxing history.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin congratulated Ms Taylor on her “win borne out of courage, determination, skill and stamina”.

“The whole country is very proud of you and all your achievements over the years,” said Mr Martin in a tweet.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney tweeted a photo of Taylor after the fight, saying: "What an incredible athlete and champion. Congratulations Katie Taylor – you make so many people so proud. #Ireland".

Taylor emerged victorious after a bruising 10-round fight winning on a split decision. She remains unbeaten after 21 professional fights, retaining her major boxing belts and capping a night that was on a par with the Olympic gold medal she won in London in 2012.

The fight was the first women's bout to headline the famed New York venue, which staged the "Fight of the Century" between heavyweights Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali in 1971.

Former Irish boxing champion Barry McGuigan offered his congratulations to both fighters on Twitter. “What a fight,” he wrote.

UFC fighter Conor McGregor called Ms Taylor “the greatest”.

“Absolutely incredible boxing! Take a bow ladies! What a contest!” he tweeted.

Celebrities joined in the praise showered on the two female boxers.

American actor Dwayne Johnson, known as "The Rock" when he was a WWE professional wrestler, described the fight as a "monumental, defining and historic night in boxing".

He said he was happy for and proud of Ms Taylor and Serrano and “all the women of boxing.”

“Long overdue but inspiring to see,” he tweeted.

British boxer Amir Khan tweeted: "Well to both fighters . . . the fight lived up to all expectations. What a fight, toe to toe action! Well done on the win Katie, showed amazing heart."

American welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr tweeted: "Fight of the year so far."

The American former lightweight boxing champion Ryan Garcia said: "I just witnessed one of the best fights ever and in my humble opinion Katie pulled it off."