Monday, May 20, 2024  |



Katie Taylor dominates Miriam Gutierrez for decision triumph, Terri Harper and Rachel Ball win

With her victory over Miriam Gutierrez in November 2020, lightweight champion Katie Taylor (right) supplanted Claressa Shields as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter.
Fighters Network

Call it no contest.

Irish sensation Katie Taylor blasted away at Miriam Gutierrez for 10 rounds to retain her undisputed lightweight championship on a unanimous decision at the Wembley Arena in London on Saturday. The official scores were 100-90, 100-89 and 99-91.

Taylor, who captured The Ring Magazine title in June 2019, dropped Gutierrez at the end of the fourth with a perfect counter right and dished out a huge amount of punishment in every session.

“That was a great performance,” said Taylor (17-0, 6 KOs) in her post-right interview with Sky Sports in the U.K. “I tried to get her out of there, but she kept firing back. I’d have loved to have got a stoppage, but, overall, it was a great performance.”

Taylor flew out of the blocks in Round 1, putting Gutierrez firmly in her place with a heavy two-fisted burst to head and body. The Spanish challenger had never mixed with anyone resembling Taylor and that showed within 20 seconds.

A ferocious left hook set up a similar attack in the third and the only surprise at this point was that Gutierrez was still standing. There was no change in the plot and Taylor did exactly what she wanted from start to finish.

Gutierrez (13-1, 5 KOs) entered the ring as the WBA mandatory challenger but, bravery aside, she was completely ill-equipped for the task.

“There’s no fight that [Katie Taylor] wouldn’t take,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “We’ve tried for the [Amanda] Serrano fight. We love the winner of [Cecilia] Braekhus vs. [Jessica] McCaskill. Chantelle Cameron is a big fight… Natasha Jonas, Terri Harper. There are so many challenges and she won’t duck one of them.”

Taylor looked extremely sharp and 2021 should provide her with much bigger game.

Terri Harper found the answer with a body shot against Katharina Thanderz. Photo by Mark Robinson

Terri Harper retained her WBC junior lightweight title with an impressive ninth-round stoppage over Katharina Thanderz. The official time was 1:12.

Harper, who is rated No. 2 by The Ring at 130 pounds, broke through with an accurate left hook to the body in Round 9 that visibly troubled the Spain-based Norwegian. Thanderz should have taken a knee but she didn’t and referee Victor Loughlin halted the action when the punishment intensified.

“That’s made my year,” said Harper. “I hurt my right hand in the fourth round and I couldn’t throw it, so I just stuck to my jabbing and moving.”

The home fighter was sharp from Round 1, snapping back the head of her opponent with clean, flush shots. Thanderz was tough but crude and the majority of her wild swings sailed harmlessly through the night air. Harper kept things simple, getting off first and using her feet to control distance.

The 24-year-old was coming off a draw with Natasha Jonas in August and a rematch may happen down the road. However, Eddie Hearn stated that he would deliver unification fights for Harper in 2021.

Rachel Ball (left) proved to be too much for late replacement Jorgelina Guaninii. Photo by Mark Robinson

Rachel Ball scored a 10-round unanimous decision over Argentina’s Jorgelina Guanini and picked up the vacant interim WBC junior featherweight title. The official scores were 99-91, 99-1 and 99-92.

Ball, who was originally slated to face Australia’s Ebanie Bridges, was made to work by Guanini who put up a game effort. However, the visitor was unable to overcome a seven-inch height advantage and Ball kept her nose in front with the cleaner, sharper shots.

“I’m just happy,” said Ball. “It’s been a mad week, we didn’t even know if the fight was going to happen. I’m glad I kept my head together and dealt with it. I’m wearing a nice, shiny belt, so I’m happy. I’m on top of the world.”

The 29-year-old Ball improves to 7-1, whereas Guanini, who was unable to win the interim title due to being almost four pounds over the 122-pound limit, falls to 9-2-2 (1 KO).


Tom Gray is Associate Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing