Katie Taylor is now one belt away from becoming an undisputed champion.
In the co-main event of the Matchroom Boxing USA on DAZN card from Philadelphia, Taylor became a three-belt champion by beating WBO titleholder Rose Volante. Taylor stopped Volante in the ninth round to become the unified WBA, IBF and WBO lightweight champion.
Volante started the fight as the aggressor, trapping Taylor in the corner in the first round. But once Taylor got out of trouble, she dropped Volante with a short right hand. Despite getting knocked down, Volante did not have trouble throwing and landing clean punches on Taylor.
Both Taylor and Volante kept landing short combinations, but Taylor would connect with the bigger punches, bruising the WBO champion's face. Taylor worked the body by landing numerous left hands later in the fight while still throwing combinations upstairs. As the fight got into the middle and late rounds, Taylor became more aggressive in her offense.
Taylor's strongest sequence of punches came at the start of the eighth round when she threw a flurry of punches to the body, hurting Volante in the process, but not enough to score a second knockdown. There was an accidental clash of heads late in the fight that created a cut on Volante's face. The referee stopped the fight late in the ninth round.
This was Taylor's first fight of 2019 after a successful 2018 when she unified the WBA and IBF titles and made three straight defenses of her titles as the unified champion. Taylor is coming off a unanimous decision win over Eva Wahlstrom last December at Madison Square Garden.