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masterclass Katie Taylor reigns supreme as she outclasses Jennifer Han in Leeds

Tough Taylor outclasses brave Jennifer

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Katie Taylor and Jennifer Han during their Undisputed Female Lightweight Championship bout at Emerald Headingley Stadium in Leeds.

Katie Taylor and Jennifer Han during their Undisputed Female Lightweight Championship bout at Emerald Headingley Stadium in Leeds.

Katie Taylor and Jennifer Han during their Undisputed Female Lightweight Championship bout at Emerald Headingley Stadium in Leeds.

Katie Taylor is still the undisputed and undefeated lightweight champion of the world.

In a city which has always held a special place in her heart she posted new memories on Saturday night, with a shut-out points win over her latest challenger El Paso native Jennifer Han. The three ringside judges all scored the fight 100-89 in favour of the Bray fighter.

Given that the 38-year-old mother of two claims she shed more than five stones in the last three months to make the 135lb lightweight limit Han never stood a chance against Taylor’s speed, foot work and unrelenting attacks.

The fight went along predicted lines, thought Han – a former IBF world featherweight belt holder – will take consolation from lasting the ten gruelling rounds.

For her bravery alone she deserves the biggest purse of her career, which was estimated to be more $100,000.

It was Taylor’s fourth successful defence of her undisputed title; the eleventh defence of the WBA belt she won in 2017; the ninth defence of her IBF belt won in 2018 – technically her laest win was a mandatory defence of this title – the fifth defence of her WBO title won in March 2019 and the fourth of the WBA belt won in Madison Square Garden in June 2019.

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Katie Taylor, right, and Jennifer Han

Katie Taylor, right, and Jennifer Han

Katie Taylor, right, and Jennifer Han

Super

In between she also found time to win the WBO version of the super lightweight World title in what has been a remarkable five-year career as a professional and she probably earned a $750,00 purse for the win against Han.

Essentially, she has changed the face of women’s professional boxing, though she remains the only female fighter to become a millionaire on the back of her success in the ring.

Such is her status now that a fight against her guarantees her opponent the biggest pay cheque of their careers. But this largesse in terms of purses for female fighters has yet to percolate beyond the Taylor circle.

After three fights behind closed doors in the UK last year the crowds were back.

Most of the fans in the packed stadium were there to support local hero Josh Warrington. But they gave the Bray fighter a rapturous Yorkshire welcome as she aimed to improve her pro record to 19-0 Taylor got her left jabbing going from the start as Han kept her distances but the champion comfortable took round one.

Taylor continued to be the more aggressive of the pair while Han struggled to get her distance right.

She did get a couple of right jabs on target but spent much of the round back-pedalling.

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Katie Taylor focuses on the job at hand.

Katie Taylor focuses on the job at hand.

Katie Taylor focuses on the job at hand.

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Taylor connected with a beautiful combination at the start of the third round and continued to chase Han, who had a mark under her right eye by the end of the round.

Taylor’ work rate increased in the fourth as Han got a little braver, closed the distance, spent more time in the pocket and got more shots away.

Taylor continued to dictate the pace in round five as the contest became scrappy but Han continued to come forward. The champions used her shots more sparingly but probably did enough to shape the round.

There were a lot of close exchanges in the opening minute of the sixth, but Taylor delivered a couple of power shots but as expected Han was brave and resilient, though she has been outclassed.

Scrappy

In the championship rounds the fighting was mostly scrappy but Taylor continued to deliver the better shots with her jab doing much of the work.

Predictably, Han was happy to survive while Taylor picked her off with her jab.

Han finally took a standing count in the eighth round after she hit the canvas, but she may have tripped herself up rather than go down under the power of a Taylor shot.

But the Bray fighter finally went looking for the stoppage in the ninth and piled on the pressure and connected with a series of sweets shots.

It was more of the same in the tenth and final round as Taylor went for the power shots but Han scarcely flinched and the manner of Taylor’s low-key reaction suggested she was disappointed that she get the stoppage.

Taylor will almost certainly fight again before the end of the year probably in the UK in another mandatory contest against either 2016 Olympic gold medallist Estelle Mossely from France – who beat her in the semi-finals of the World championships in 2016 – or Firuza.

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