PHILADELPHIA — There is a confident stoicism about Katie Taylor’s face. It’s impassive. Determined. Unfazed.
It manifests itself in the ruthless way in which she fights.
The tiny 5-foot-5 fireball is a rock star in her native Ireland, which was on full display half-a-world away by the sparkling green that dotted Temple University’s Liacouras Center Friday night, as part of the co-feature being shown live on DAZN in the U.S. and on Sky Sports in Britain.
Taylor (13-0, 6 KOs) then went out and proved just how lethal she is by stopping Rose Volante at 1:40 of the ninth round, when referee Benjy Esteves Jr. stepped in to call a halt to the bout due to a severe cut on the bridge of Volante’s nose.
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Taylor, the IBF/WBA lightweight champion, also claimed the WBO belt that Volante (14-1, 8 knockouts) had previously owned.
“She is a very brave champion,” Taylor said. “She was what I expected. (The stoppage) was the icing on the cake.”
In the first round, Taylor dropped Volante with short, blunt right hand to the jaw. Taylor then pounded on Volante in a calculated way, before the bell ended the round. Taylor exerted her control in the second, though Volante did land a few shots.
The second concluded with Taylor’s back foot slipping in Volante’s corner, giving the Brazilian some bravery. But Volante could do little with the opportunity.
In the first minute of the fourth round, Taylor put on a boxing clinic, darting in and out, landing to Volante’s body and head, and before Volante could blink, Taylor was out of harm’s way.
By the fifth, Taylor was in a rhythm.
She had established a comfortable distance and had Volante’s timing down. Swelling began to build under Volante’s right eye. By the end of the round, Volante’s right cheek was beginning to well up under Taylor’s combination punching.
In the sixth, Volante appeared to be more tentative. She carried her guard high, which Taylor lowered by going to the body. With :19 left in the round, Taylor fired off a blurring five-punch salvo through Volante’s high guard, and the Brazilian had no reply.
Sensing she might be in some trouble in the scorecards, Volante began the seventh as the aggressor. Midway through the round, Taylor was once again imposing her will, burrowing in and landing effective punches before Volante could counter her.
Within the first :20 of the eighth, Taylor put a beating on Volante. She nailed Volante with a barrage of punches that to Volante’s credit she withstood. In the ninth, Taylor steadily hacked away at Volante, though a cut had opened over Taylor’s right eye.
With three of the belts in her possession, the fourth is currently in the possession of WBC titleholder Delfine Persoon (43-1, 18 KOs) of Belgium.
“Let’s start talking about that fight. We have to get that next. She has the WBC and I want it,” said Taylor. “I would take Amanda Serrano or Cecilia Braekhus but I really want that last belt.”
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