Ireland’s Taylor remains undisputed world lightweight champion after beating Han

Ireland’s Katie Taylor remains undisputed world lightweight champion after unanimous points decision victory over American Jennifer Han

  • Katie Taylor was made to work by Jennifer Han before winning on points
  • Taylor floored the Texan in eighth round as she claimed 19th professional win
  • It was her first fight since beating former amateur rival Natasha Jonas in May











Katie Taylor defeated veteran American fighter Jennifer Han on points to retain her undisputed world lightweight belts on Saturday night – much to the delight of the 20,000 Headingley crowd.

The 35-year-old Bray fighter grew up in Ireland in a family of ardent Leeds United fans and was roared to victory by the raucous support, which included popular Whites defender Luke Ayling in the crowd.

Taylor, who has received support during her career from Manchester United legend Roy Keane, was made to work hard in the early rounds, but she cruised to victory in the end and the outcome was never in doubt.

Katie Taylor was made to work by USA's Jennifer Han before winning on points in Leeds

Katie Taylor was made to work by USA’s Jennifer Han before winning on points in Leeds

The undisputed lightweight champion was relentless against 38-year-old Han as she took her professional record to 19-0 at the home of Super League giants Leeds Rhinos.

Han was floored in the eighth round, but claimed that she had slipped, yet Taylor was not to be denied and won every round on each judge’s scorecard.

‘I am very, very happy with the win but a bit scrappy at times,’ said Ireland’s 2012 Olympic champion after her victory.

‘I knew she was very crafty in there but I would have liked a stoppage. I want to say a masterclass, it wasn’t, but a win is a win.’

Taylor floored the Texan in the eighth round on her way to clinching 19th professional win

Taylor floored the Texan in the eighth round on her way to clinching 19th professional win

Former world featherweight champion Han moved up two divisions to take the fight and her clever movement made life difficult for Taylor early on.

Yet Taylor began to and she floored the Texan in the eighth round before clinching her 19th professional win.

The 100-89 verdict on all three judges’ cards underlined Taylor’s superiority.

As Han tired in the closing two rounds, Taylor began to dominate but the American remained on her feet to take the contest to the full distance.

Taylor’s next fight could a high-profile unification bout with seven-weight world champion Amanda Serrano or potentially a rematch with undisputed welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill.