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04th Sep 2021

Katie Taylor puts on masterclass to win 13th world title defence in style

Patrick McCarry

Katie Taylor

Taylor scored a knockdown in the eighth round, but her opponent disputed it.

Katie Taylor moved serenely to 19-0 as she made her 13th world title defence against Jennifer Han at Headingley Stadium in Leeds.

The world champion had far too much pace and precision for the game Han. The only thing Taylor missed out on was a KO, but she will be pleased with the test Han provided.

Han is a former featherweight world champion, winning the belt back in 2015 before defending the belt on four occasions. She was stepping up two weight divisions to take on the Bray native at take a run at her stash of belts.

Taylor had the better of the opening round as she quickly found her range with her left jabs and hooks. Han flurried back in the final 30 seconds but the Texan was tenatative.

Advised by her corner to draw Han out before landing blows, Taylor did so nicely to land some big blows in the early stages of round two. Han took it in her stride and landed a couple of glancing blows, though.

The third round saw Taylor up the combos and up the tempo. Han was slowing the bout down by clutching and holding on to Taylor. The fourth round was more of the same, with Taylor edging it again and landing a big right hand connection. After found rounds, it was 4-0 Taylor.

Katie Taylor, right, and Jennifer Han during their Undisputed Female Lightweight Championship bout at Emerald Headingley Stadium in Leeds. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing via Sportsfile)

Han could have a strong claim on the fifth, as she pressed Taylor back on the ropes and did fell in the first 60 seconds. Taylor may have nicked it, though, with a few crisp jabs to the head in the final stages.

The sixth round was all Taylor as she put her foot on the gas and picked off the flagging Han with ease. She was making her activity and experience tell against the American. The seventh was not the prettiest, but Taylor was the one willing to engage and throw combinations. The champion was looking comfortable.

The eighth round was a Taylor masterclass, with Han knocked down and given a count of six. She was pointing to her feet, to say she slipped, but Taylor definitely helped her on her way.

Han’s face was showing signs of the punishing Taylor jabs and she was just hanging on throughout the ninth round.

The final round saw Taylor press for the knock-out blow and land a couple of crunchers, but Han could see the finish line and clung on.

The three judges all agreed that Taylor had dominated, and she won 100-89 on all three cards.