Katie Taylor retained her undisputed lightweight titles by outboxing mandatory WBA challenger Firuza Sharipova over ten rounds at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England on Saturday night.

Scores were 98-92, 97-92, and 96-93.

Taylor, 35, eight years older than her opponent, did what she does so well in the opening stanza – using speed and timing to get off first. Virtually unknown Sharipova jabbed to the body. Taylor [20-0, 6 KOs] landed a left hook. Her edge in hand speed was clear. Taylor fired jabs and a few rapid-fire combinations in round two. Sharipova connected with a solid right.

In round three, Taylor clobbered Sharipova [14-2, 8 KOs] with a left in the next heat. The challenger took it well. Taylor stepped in and fired a three-punch combo.

Sharipova scored with a right in round four. Taylor fought back. Seconds later, she connected with a right and left. The first four rounds had been close, but Taylor had the edge. Sharipova, with swelling around her left eye, tried to get off first in round five. Taylor landed a left and right. She moved away and connected with another two shots. Taylor, bouncing in round six, clipped Sharipova with a punch in round six. Taylor jabbed.

Two lefts to the body scored. Sharipova, a native of Kazakhstan, caught Taylor with a glancing blow. Taylor connected with a shot in round seven. Sharipova swung and missed and walked into two solid jabs.

Taylor, from Bray, Ireland, jabbed consistently in round eight. Sharipova fired overhand rights. They missed. Taylor stopped Sharipova in her tracks with a right hand. She also landed a short jab/hook.

Going into the 10th and final round, Taylor was comfortably ahead on Maxboxing’s scorecard. Sharipova fired several blows in round 10. Taylor missed a counter, but a follow-up right scored. Sharipova landed a right, Taylor drilled Sharipova with a left-right at the bell.

“We knew she was technically a strong fighter, “said Taylor. “It’s nice to still be undisputed.”

Source: John J. Raspanti