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HBO’s Jim Lampley and Roy Jones Jr hail Katie Taylor after New York epic

American viewers didn’t get too much of a glimpse of Katie Taylor on Saturday night but the Bray lightweight certainly made an impression.

Taylor unified the WBA and IBF 135lbs titles with an entertaining win over Argentinian Victoria Noelia Bustos at the Barclays Center in New York.

While the fight was shown live on this side of the Atlantic via Sky Sports, U.S. broadcaster HBO came on air after the bout’s conclusion.

However, esteemed commentator Jim Lampley and boxing legend Roy Jones Jr were ringside for the entirety of the fight and had some huge praise for the Wicklow woman.

A short highlights package of the unification – in which Taylor [9(4)-0] showed supreme skills early on before electing to trade with the game South American – were shown at the start of the HBO broadcast and the commentators gave an impressed summary.

Broadcast veteran Lampley described the contest as “what I think [was] the best women’s professional prizefight I’ve ever seen, between Katie Taylor of Ireland – and Victoria Bustos of Argentina.”

“They both came in carrying titles, this was a title unification match and it was a pitched battle all the way.”

Four-weight, six-time world champion Jones was also blown away by the performance of the 31-year-old Irishwoman.

The 1990s Fighter of the Decade excitedly added that “Katie Taylor really showed us why she’s one of the best pound-for-pound female boxers on the planet.”

“This was one of the best female fights I’ve seen in my whole career.”

Taylor’s promoter Eddie Hearn had been highly critical of HBO’s decision not to show Taylor – especially having himself elected against an Irish homecoming in favour of building the Olympic gold medalist’s brand stateside.

However, such glowing endorsements from Lampley and Jones should see Taylor’s next American fight given pride of place within the main broadcast.

The Ross Enamait-trained, Brian Peters-managed fighter is now set on becoming the undisputed lightweight champion by the end of the year and is targeting WBC champ Delfine Persoon and WBO titlist Rose Volante.


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie