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29th Apr 2018

Katie Taylor really showed her class with backstage gesture to defeated foe

All class

Ben Kiely

Katie Taylor was all class after unifying her world title in Brooklyn

Just 20 months and nine fights into her professional career, Katie Taylor has two world titles. The Pride of WBA unified her WBA lightweight title with the IBF belt by defeating Victoria Bustos over 10 rounds on Sunday morning.

Bustos did not give her belt up without a fight. Although she was completely outclassed in the skill department, her incredible toughness saw her slug it out until the final buzzer sounded. The crowd was against, she was being beaten up, but she made sure Taylor had to earn the belt she had held for five years.

Even when Taylor was piecing her up when they stood toe-to-toe in the centre of the ring, Bustos kept firing. She landed a couple of big shots in the phonebox, but skills really win fights. In the end, the judges scored it a lopsided 99-91, 99-91, 98-92 victory for Taylor.

Respect is earned through battle

Bustos clearly had the respect of Taylor before the bout, but she seemed to gain more of it with her never-say-die attitude. Bustos had a great run at the top, but she was simply no match for the Olympic gold medalist and multiple amateur world champion.

She knew it, the crowd knew it and Taylor knew it, but still, she persevered. It became apparent very early on that her sixth defence of the belt would be her first unsuccessful one. However, like any good champion, she went down swinging with her head held high.

Taylor paid her respects to Bustos at every opportunity. At the end of the fight, she embraced her and thanked her for the battle. In her post-fight interview, she praised her for her gameness. Then, backstage she met Bustos in her locker room to hand back her IBF belt.

It was a small, but classy gesture from the newly-crowned champion who will receive a new version of the title.