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fight queen Katie Taylor made it 18 wins on the spin but is her aura of invincibility beginning to slip?

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Katie Taylor with her belts after defeating Natasha Jonas in their WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO female lightweight title fight at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Photo by Mark Robinson / Matchroom Boxing via Sportsfile

Katie Taylor with her belts after defeating Natasha Jonas in their WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO female lightweight title fight at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Photo by Mark Robinson / Matchroom Boxing via Sportsfile

Katie Taylor with her belts after defeating Natasha Jonas in their WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO female lightweight title fight at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Photo by Mark Robinson / Matchroom Boxing via Sportsfile

KATIE TAYLOR celebrated May Day by dispatching another wannabe boxing queen but it was a close call.

The 34-year-old Bray boxer remains the undisputed lightweight champion of the world after a thrilling contest which was reflected on the score cards.

Two judges gave the fight to Taylor by a single round (96-95) while the third had the Bray fighter ahead by two (96-94).

In her twelfth world title fight, the undefeated Taylor made it eighteen wins on the spin though her aura of invincibility is beginning to slip.

“I dug deep in the end and won the championship rounds though I started slowly. We said all week that it could have been a headline act and the fight showed why."

Jonas said ‘I knew it was close. I want to stay at this level and win belts.'

Still, she continued to dominate the lightweight division. This was her eleventh unanimous points win – her only victory via a majority came in the epic first encounter against Delfine Persoon in 2019.

What’s more astonishing is that, at most, she has lost 23 of the 144 rounds she has fought in the pro ranks.

So, the 34-year-old Bray fighter keeps her WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF and Ring Magazine belts and confirmed her status as the best pound-for-pound female fighter in the world.

Jonas lacked nothing in effort or bravery. But the reality is that she had been comfortably beaten by Taylor on the two occasions they clashed during the amateur careers and regardless of the view of many British commentators, there was nothing to suggest that Jonas had improved sufficiently in the interim to reverse the result.

The facts suggest the opposite was the case as Taylor is a more accomplished fighter than she was in 2012 when they famously clashed in the London Olympics. Furthermore, she is a more experienced pro fighter.

For her fifth fight in the Manchester Arena, Taylor sported a new braided hairstyle while her mother Bridget watched from the wing.

Taylor kept her distance in round one but still fired with a couple of right-handed punches as her superior hand speed and accuracy showed.

Taylor made Jonas miss early in the second round as she continued to dominate and connected with a sweet left hook. The referee stopped the action to caution both fighters about using their heads, but it was another round for the champion.

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Jonas had more success in the third as the fight opened up as the boxers clinched but Taylor switched to the body which had Jonas in retreat, but she might have done enough to nick the round.

Jonas was guilty of holding in the fourth, which caught the attention of the referee and Taylor landed a big combination, which caused her opponent to lose her footing momentarily.

There was no discernible change in the pattern in round 5 as the fight reached the half-way point. Even when they clinched on the inside, Taylor was able to fire of the better shots and she looked comfortably ahead on points.

Taylor began the sixth with a big right hand and continued to look the busier fighter and her hand speed constantly troubled Jonas, though the challenger was still capable of landing a big punch caught Taylor with a stinging left and scored and finished the round on a high note.

Jonas began to grow in confidence and finally started to land with some telling shots but Taylor came back and scored with body shots as the two fighters traded shots in the best round of the contest so far.

As the fighters headed into the final stretch it was Jonas who looked the better fighter in the early stages of the eighth round, before Taylor got back on top with a series of combinations.

The fight was in the melting pot but the pace dropped slightly as Taylor got on top again and there were indications that Jonas was tiring slightly.

Taylor looked more impressive at the start of the final round but while Taylor concentrated on the head, Jonas delivered with brilliant body shots.

This was another terrific advertisement for women’s boxing as Taylor trapped Jonas on the ring in the closing 15 seconds. So, as expected, the decision went to the judges.

But nobody could deny the merit of Taylor’s win.

Well done Katie!

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