Katie Taylor moved one step closer to realising her dream of becoming the undisputed lightweight champion of the world after defeating WBO champion Rose Volante in Philadelphia on Friday night.
With the WBA and IBF belts already in her possession, Taylor now becomes the first Irish fighter to hold three world titles at the same time in the four belt era. Securing WBC champion Delfine Persoon’s strap on June 1st now remains her last stumbling block to unifying the division.
The 2012 Olympic gold medallist stopped the relentless Volante in the ninth round in what was often an attritional affair as the muscular Brazilian withstood Taylor’s onslaught of quick combination punches and strategically placed body shots.
Taylor for her part too felt the physicality of the contest although Volante never looked like landing a significant blow, a slight slip by the Bray woman at the end of round two the only cause for concern.
Volante started the contest aggressively, immediately backing Taylor into a corner but the 32-year-old was unfazed and quickly began measuring her previously undefeated opponent, a strong right hook knocking the Sao Paulo native to the floor.
Volante made it to her feet after a seven-count but appeared unscathed and quickly reengaged Taylor with some strong right arms.
Taylor appeared in control of the contest by round four landing some heavy blows but still the Brazilian came forward full of energy and gusto.
Taylor began adding some impressive body shots to her repertoire in round five. She appeared more measured in rounds six and seven as Volante tired but umped the ante in round eight.
But the referee finally stopped the gallant 36-year-old in round nine as the “The Queen” relinquished her crown to the superior Taylor.
Elsewhere Dubliner Jono Carroll lost little in defeat against IBF world super-featherweight champion Tevin Farmer. The 26-year-old lost out by unanimous decision to the hometown favourite after a courageous performance saw him earn widespread praise.
Also, 2012 Olympic silver medalist John Joe Nevin defeated Andres Figueroa by unanimous decision in a six round contest, extending his unbeaten run to 12.