Katie Taylor stops Rose Volante to unify WBA, WBO and IBF lightweight titles

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Taylor unifies IBF, WBA and WBO title belts – as it happened

Olympic champion targets Delfine Persoon’s WBC title next

Katie Taylor is one step away from her long-held goal of unifying the fractured lightweight championship after stopping Brazil’s Rose Volante in the ninth round on Friday night in Philadelphia.

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist, who entered with the WBA and IBF titles at 135lbs, added Volante’s WBO strap to her growing haul and immediately targeted Belgium’s Delfine Persoon, the former kickboxer who holds the WBC belt.

Taylor (13-0, 6 KOs) baffled her opponent with blinding combinations and fluid in-and-out movement, dropping Volante in the opening round and never looking back at the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University.

The popular Irish champion nearly ended it in the fifth, hurting Volante badly with a punishing left hook before pouring on the punishment only for her opponent to be saved by the bell.

Volante (14-1, 8 KOs) showed great heart but proved no match for Taylor’s pinpoint combinations, which broke her down over the second half of the fight.

It ended in the ninth when what appeared to be an accidental clash of heads opened a large gash on the bridge of Volante’s nose, prompting referee Benjy Esteves to wave off the action.

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