Katie Taylor Captures WBA Gold, Decisions Sanchez

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Cardiff's Principality Stadium hosted the most important bout of the 31-year-old's unprecedentedly decorated career to date and Taylor relished the chance to perform in front of close to 80,000 spectators on Anthony Joshua's undercard on Saturday night.

Taylor reigns as the Republic of Ireland's only world champion and is the first pro boxer to hold such a crown since Andy Lee lost his WBO middleweight strap in 2015.

But the Bray fighter never looked in danger of suffering stage fright.

She now has a number of avenues to explore as world champion, but we're hoping a Dublin homecoming will be top priority.

But there was no escaping Taylor in the second when she collapsed the South American with a left to the body. She strutted into the ring with confidence and started quickly, landing several right hands in the opening two-minute round.

At some point, Buatsi might collide with another British fighter around his weight, Frank Buglioni, who kept his British light-heavyweight title with a convincing points win over the unbeaten Craig "Spider" Richards.

Taylor snapped back Sanchez's head with a right hand in a corner with about 50 seconds to go in the fifth round.

And she proved the loss of her belt had not dented her pride as she survived another beating in the third round and raced eagerly back for more and had the audacity to tag Taylor with a couple of punches of her own.

The cut above her eye failed to deter her late on as a five-shot combination found the target in the ninth.

Taylor has now won five world amateur titles, six European golds, Olympic gold and now the WBA lightweight title.

"It was a very, very tough fight".

One of the key factors in the making of a champion is resilience and Sanchez showed plenty of that.

For those who know who RTE are, Irish in Ireland and the many more Irish around the world, the above might come across as a tad ironic. The visitor also came with an unblemished record, 22 wins, but the last two of those were inconsequential blowouts of obscure Thai debutants, not quite the ideal preparation for a step up to this level.

But overall, a performance of great credit, well received by the huge crowd.

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