Katie Taylor beats Karen Elizabeth Carabajal to remain undisputed lightweight champ
Triumphant Taylor calls for Amanda Serrano rematch at Croke Park
Ireland's Katie Taylor (22-0, 6KO) retained her IBF, WBA, WBC, WBO world lightweight titles with a comprehensive points win against Argentina's Karen Elizabeth Carabajal (19-1, 2KO) at Wembley Arena in London, live on DAZN.
Bray boxer Taylor was fighting for the first time since her split decision win over Puerto Rico's Amanda Serrano last April – the first women's bout in history to headline New York's Madison Square Garden.
The fight went the distance, but 36-year-old Taylor was victorious with scores of 100-91, 99-91, 98-92 in what was her sixth defence as an undisputed champion.
"She had everything to gain, I think I boxed smartly, I was a bit open at times but just happy to get the victory," said Taylor, who plans to fight next in Dublin – for what would be her first professional bout in her home country.
Taylor won Olympic gold in 2012 and of her 22 professional fights, 14 of which have been in England, with one in Wales and seven in the United States but none in Ireland yet in her trailblazing career.
"Amanda Serrano, do you want the fight at Croke Park with 80,000 people? It would be the biggest event in women's boxing history," Taylor offered.
"It's a very easy fight to make and I'm happy to wait a few months for the biggest fight of my career – it would be a dream for me."
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn added: "It is time to return to Ireland now.
"Whoever it is, wherever it is, Ireland has to be next. The Irish fans are incredible, they have travelled everywhere and it's time to give Ireland a sporting event they will never forget.
"We hope it's Amanda Serrano but it does not matter who it is, it has to be Ireland. We can create a night of boxing Ireland will never forget and no-one deserves it more than Katie Taylor.
"Six years ago we were here and people were laughing at us. Katie Taylor has been treading paths for others to come down. She is a legend in this sport."
Taylor vs Carabajal
Former national and South American champion, Carabajal, was fighting outside of Argentina for the first time and the 32-year-old came to London with an undefeated record of 19 wins from 19 bouts, with just two knockouts.
She talked up her chances of causing a shock win and taking the belts back to Argentina with her but Taylor, cheered on by a raucous crowd in London, quickly stamped her authority on the fight.
The heavy favourite, Taylor immediately showed her class, speed and power, taking command of the centre of the ring as Carabajal was caught regularly by jabs and struggled to land anything meaningful in the first of the 10 two-minute rounds.
The Argentine made an attacking start at the beginning of the second, but as the round went on found herself being picked off by overhand lefts and rights, a pattern that continued in the third with the superior movement from Taylor making her hard to hit.
In the fourth, Taylor had Carabajal pinned in the corner, with the pair furiously trading blows, the Argentine doing well to escape what looked like a difficult moment for her.
Carabajal, cut underneath her right eye in the fifth, was brave, attacking and fully committed but was starting to take some punishment as Taylor pushed for her first win inside the distance in nine bouts.
An impressive overhand left from Taylor landed in the seventh, but, knowing she had banked the earlier rounds, she was happy to wait and not take any unnecessary risks.
Carabajal, cut again around her right eye, had shown great character to still be in there for the final round and pushed for a huge upset, but Taylor stayed out of danger before the judges confirmed the win.
She was back at the scene of her professional debut – in which she had stopped Poland's Karina Szmalenberg in the third round at Wembley Arena back in November 2016 – and what a journey it has been for Taylor since then.
This was her 16th successive world title fight and she is a two-weight world champion, having moved up a weight – winning a WBO belt at light-welterweight in 2019 – before returning to lightweight.
And now with a potential fight at Croke Park to come next summer, another huge night for Katie Taylor – and women's boxing – is just around the corner.
Gill vs Martinez
Jordan Gill lost his European featherweight belt, beaten by former two-weight world champion Kiko Martinez in a fight that also doubled up as an eliminator for Josh Warrington's IBF world title.
Martinez lost to Warrington in March, despite breaking the Englishman's jaw before being stopped in the seventh.
Gill, from Chatteris in Cambridgeshire, quickly experienced the Spaniard's power as he got caught repeatedly in the second round, sustaining a cut and bleeding from his nose.
Things quickly got worse for Gill as he was knocked down twice in the third, suffered a bad cut around his eye and was then floored a further two times in the fourth before his corner ended the fight.
Warrington defends his IBF belt against Mexico's Luis Alberto Lopez in Leeds on 10 December, with Martinez in line to fight the winner, while Nottingham's WBA champion Leigh Wood could be another potential opponent.
Scotney vs Romero
Londoner Ellie Scotney became the European super-bantamweight champion in only her sixth fight as a professional, beating reigning champion Mary Romero of Spain.
Scotney dominated the ninth of the 10 rounds as she looked to claim what would have been the first knockout as a professional, but instead won it on a unanimous decision – 97-93, 97-94 and 96-94.
Cully vs Belmehdi
Irish lightweight Gary Cully needed only 35 seconds to beat Jaouad Belmehdi and claim his 15th win from 15 fights.
Cully knocked the previously unbeaten Frenchman down early on with a brutal left hook and Belmehdi beat the count, but then wobbled into the ropes and the referee stopped the contest.
"I think this is going to be a future world champion for Ireland," Hearn said of Cully.
Romford heavyweight Johnny Fisher extended his unbeaten record to 7-0 thanks to a first-round demolition of Czech fighter Dominik Musil, who was knocked down twice before the fight was stopped.
Six-time national amateur champion Maiseyrose Courtney defeated Judit Hachbold 40-36 on points in her professional debut.