Katie Taylor beats Eva Wahlstrom to defend world titles in New York
Katie Taylor produced the best display of her professional career to inflict a first defeat on Eva Wahlstrom and defend her IBF and WBA World Lightweight titles in New York.
Ireland's Taylor, 32, won each of the 10 rounds at Madison Square Garden against a Finnish opponent who holds a world title in a lower weight division.
Wahlstrom, bloodied late on by a head clash, had no answer to Taylor's speed and ferocity at any time.
Taylor won 100-90 on all three cards.
"I thought it was a great performance against an undefeated fighter," Taylor said. "She came to win but I thought I boxed very smart in there tonight.
"To stand there toe to toe, with the crowd here behind me was fantastic.
"I'd have loved the stoppage but they are hard to get sometimes with the two-minute rounds. It would be a lot easier with three-minute rounds."
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Taylor had faced 38-year-old Wahlstrom six times in her amateur days and won every encounter.
And she never looked in doubt of a repeat, dominating the early rounds to land repeatedly as her clever feints and quick feet ensured she was expertly in control of distance.
Up close she was clinical, landing body shots as her opponent covered up and when a gap in the guard emerged in round four, Taylor drilled a four-shot combination through.
Hapless against the onslaught, Wahlstrom switched to attack more early in the fifth. But she was instantly bettered, with Taylor landing an uppercut within a barrage which looked as though it was beginning to take its toll.
A head clash in the eighth did little to help Wahlstrom and she at times resorted to desperately clinching, with Taylor drawing cheers for rapid hand speed as she delivered body shots up close in the ninth.
An expert right-hand left-hook combination caught the eye in 10, as Taylor eased to 12 wins from 12 as a professional.
She will now return to Ireland for Christmas and said she is eyeing contests with champions from higher weight divisions in 2019, including Puerto Rico's Amanda Serrano and Norway's Cecilia Braekhus.
Serrano, who has won world titles in six weight divisions, later posted on Twitter: "I feel so honoured to have been mentioned so much tonight. Even from Katie Taylor lol.
"I'm ready. I'm not looking to go the distance like all these pillow punchers. Everyone talks like a killer but struggles to get people out of there. I don't go the distance to often."