BRAY’S Katie Taylor, having totally cleared up in the lightweight division, stepped up to super-lightweight for the very first time at an incredibly noisy Manchester Arena. Challenging Athens’ classy Christina Linardatou for the WBO title, she was duly crowned a two-weight world champion.
Taylor weathered Linardatou’s early rushes, of which there were many, before increasingly dictating the pace, scoring with cleaner shots, staying on the move and resisting the temptation to get dragged into a scrap. She left her always-game and still-pressing opponent trailing in her wake, with a cut and increasingly swollen right eye not hampering her at all. The scores at the end of the 10-twos bout refereed by Mike Alexander read 96-94 and 97-93 twice for respective judges Marcus McDonnell, Stephane Nicolo and Giustino Di Giovanni.
Linardatou, who gave Taylor a more-than-decent fight, looked somewhat despondent at the finish and lingered long in her corner. The bout had increasingly moved away from her in the later stages, though, and she had no real cause for complaint.