Katie Taylor remains the undisputed lightweight champion of the world following a unanimous points victory over former amateur foe Natasha Jonas at the Manchester Arena.

The Bray boxer was made to work hard to maintain all five world title belts and unblemished record as Jonas stepped up another level to really compete with the champion.

The ten-round contest was secured with all three judges awarding the fight to Taylor, albeit a bit close for comfort for the champion, as it was scored 96-94 96-95 96-95.

Taylor began the fight with real composure to take control of the middle of the ring and had the challenger going backwards throughout the opening two rounds, without really landing any damaging blows.

Jonas, to her credit, got involved in the third round and disrupted the champion's rhythm, while also landing some telling shots, but Taylor again looked the better boxer in the fourth.

The middle rounds saw Jonas really get back on the scorecards as Taylor was happy to trade blows with the physical Liverpudlian, who looked really strong throughout, and it resulted in Jonas taking some close rounds.

The seventh round saw Taylor struggle with the intensity and appeared to take a couple of big hits, while the eighth was another close affair as Jonas grew in confidence.

But a different boxer came out for the final two rounds as Taylor went back to her boxing, and her slick footwork and quick hand speed really troubled the tiring Jonas.


Recap: Katie Taylor beats Natasha Jonas


If Taylor thought she needed to win the final round, she made no mistake, as she continued to punish the retreating challenger, who stayed competitive but was unable to lay a testing glove on the champion over those remaining two minutes.

The final bell sounded, and while always an anxious wait for the judges’ scorecards, especially when fighting in the challenger’s back yard, the right result was delivered and Taylor marches on with her 18th straight success in the professional ranks.

Earlier, James Tennyson was sensationally stopped in the opening round of his lightweight encounter with Mexican Jovanni Straffon.

James Tennyson was caught cold in Manchester

The Belfast boxer was looking to move back towards a world title fight, however, it will be back to the drawing board for the former European champion, who will need to prove himself again before securing a shot at one of the division's champions.