For what was the most entertaining fight on Saturday at its core, Ireland’s ♛🥇🇮🇪Katie Taylor (15-0-0, 7KO👊) and Greece’s 🇩🇴🇬🇷Christina Linardatou (12-2-0, 6KO👊) mixed it up in front of a Manchester Arena crowd to the delight of the fans, and Taylor successfully defeated Linardatou by way of Unanimous Decision to lift her WBO Junior-Welterweight Title to achieve history in a multitude of ways (more from that in the upcoming days), adding on to her established legacy in the sport of boxing with the 📖book still open to fill in new chapters…
Linardatou tried to flex her muscle early on in the first round, using quick agile body movement and winging speedy right hands through. Katie wasn’t thrown off of he game with the extra activity, instead stayed patient and started throwing double right hands to use Linardatou’s propensity to react to every shot, leaning side-to-side against her. Linardatou started to overpress the action in the second round, resulting in sloppy exchanges. Taylor in between the rough housing successfully established her left jab to control tempo. Katie for much of the fight played the role of the matador, taking her attack outside to move the strong Linardatou off her 📍marker. Linardatou certainly possesses the heart of a Champion to support her possession of a major belt, and stayed on Taylor all day, giving her 110%, but she had her issues in consistently finding the mark as Taylor was outsmarting the Greek fighter by way of the Dominican Republic and providing herself with opportunities to work through and patiently pick through the openings presented for her to capitalize against.
The right hand was an increasingly effective weapon for Taylor, throwing it as a lead shot as Linardatou kept dropping her lead hand as she would lean in, over-committing on her power. Linardatou began to grow more frustrated while Taylor started to find her vacuum of success, and got into her full groove. Linardatou did land well enough to get Katie’s 👁️right eye to start swelling up by this point, but it didn’t change the tenure of the fight. Taylor in the 5th round sensed some vulnerability and stated to let her hands go in chunks of combinations, taking advantage of Linardatou’s poor defense. After the 5th, Christina went back to her corner visibly tired with he mouth wide open, flashing her gum-shield and gasping for 💨air as she went back to her stool, symbolic of her losing a little bit of the momentum she had going for herself going on.
Katie’s footwork was ramped up a level, and kept shifting around back and forth, and Linardatou didn’t know how to adjust to it, and always looked out of range for much of the remainder of the fight as Taylor made it worse for her by pop shotting her with beautiful counter shots routinely over the top. Linardatou sensed the fight getting away from her, so the aggression went up, landing a couple good left hooks along the way, but Katie took the shots well, and continued to exhibit her master craftsmanship from distance. The 8th round was 💥blistering action, as Katie decided to meet Christina’s aggression, and for a brief moment in the match, a firefight took place with fiery exchanges on full display. Katie hurt Linardatou, and Linardatou came back to wobble Katie with a left hook, and they traded to the bell after the 8th. In the Championship rounds, Linardatou tried to bust the pipes of the decorated Taylor, but Taylor was in her bag, and in full focus continuing to circle out, staying behind the stick and pop-shotting with the cross throughout the rest of the fight to the 🔔final bell after 10, as Linardatou poured out what was left in her to give, like a true Champion should. By way of Unanimous Decision, Katie Taylor has achieved more on her historic run, and became a 2-division World Champion. Taylor after the fight was overcome with emotion after realization of her achieving all of her dreams that she had ever set out for herself in boxing, and at this moment, stands are her proudest moment, and also at her highest. Here are the official scorecards, as well as how we at Project Combat scored it.
OFFICIAL SCORECARDS ✎🗒️
✎ Marcus McDonnell = 96 – 94 for KATIE TAYLOR
✎ Giustino Di Giovanni = 97 – 93 for KATIE TAYLOR
✎ Stephane Nicolo = 97 – 93 for KATIE TAYLOR
PROJECT COMBAT SCORECARDS ✎🗒️
✎ Tré Berry = 97 – 93 for KATIE TAYLOR