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Katie Taylor set for Croke Park homecoming after she retains her world titles

Taylor is still the undisputed lightweight champion of the world after she inflicted a first defeat on Buenos Aires native Karen Carabajal.

Katie Taylor celebrates her trainer Ross Enamait, right, and manager Brian Peters© SPORTSFILE

Sean McGoldrickSunday World

Katie Taylor is still the undisputed lightweight champion of the world after she inflicted a first defeat on Buenos Aires native Karen Carabajal - and now she believes a homecoming fight at Croke Park is possible next year.

As anticipated, the Bray fighter defended her WBA, IBF, WBO, WBC and Ring Magazine belts at the Wembley Arena for the seventh time.

The three ringside judges all scored the contest in favour of the 36-year Irish lightweight, who extends her unbeaten professional statistics to 22-0 and her overall record in boxing to 176-12-1.

Though the excitement never touched the fever levels at Taylor’s last fight against Amanda Serrano in Madison Square Garden six months ago, it was still business as usual from Taylor who dictated the exchanges in a one-sided affair.

"She was a tough fighter," said Taylor of Carabajal. "She boxed very awkward at times but I thought I boxed well tonight and I'm delighted to get another victory. Still undisputed, 22 wins.

"We want a fight at Croke Park with 80,000 people, the biggest fight in women's boxing history."

Taylor’s promoter Eddie Hearn promised that her next fight would be in Ireland as he said: “Her next fight has to be in Ireland. It is time to give Ireland a sporting event it will never forget. They have waited so long and no one deserves it more than Katie Taylor.”

Katie Taylor celebrates after beating Karen Carabajal to win the Undisputed Lightweight World Title fight at the OVO Arena Wembley, London. Picture date: Saturday October 29, 2022.© PA

Carabajal appeared in awe of Taylor in the build-up and not surprisingly the 32-year-old looked out of her depth from the first bell.

Speaking to DAZN afterwards, Taylor and her promoter Eddie Hearn targeted her first professional fight on home soil next.

Carabajal appeared in awe of Taylor in the build-up and though she was lacking nothing in bravery, effort or commitment the the 32-year-old was outclassed by Taylor even though she wasn’t at her brilliance.

But this was all entirely predictable. It was her first professional fight outside her native Argentina; her entire career has been in the feather and super feather divisions.

She is only the third rated lightweight in Argentina; had only boxed once in the last 12 months and had never faced anyone with more than 10 wins in her previous 19 fights. But as one anticipated from a fighter of South American origin she was brave, resilience and awkward to deal with.

The only disappointing aspect of the win was that Taylor failed to secure a win inside the distance or didn’t achieve a knockout.

Granted she had only two fights this year – fewer than in any other year of her career bar 2016 when she didn’t make her professional debut until November.

Now appears to be the moment for Taylor to have her first professional fight in front of her adoring home fans for what would be one of the biggest events in Irish sporting history.


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