Katie Taylor (15-0) became a two weight World Champion, picking up the WBO Super Lightweight Title in an entertaining tussle with Christina Linardatou (12-2).
In an unfamiliar role as challenger, undisputed Lightweight Champion Taylor walked to the ring first to the strains of Oasis’ Wonderwall, and the Manchester crowd were firmly on her side.
Linardatou began brightly, taking the fight to her opponent, but Taylor landed decent right hands as the opener came to a close.
Taylor was warming to her task, and her footwork was causing Linardatou all sorts of problems in the second as the Irishwoman began to connect with regularity.
Congrats @KatieTaylor Welcome to the 2 Division league! You earned it!!!!
— ClaressaT-rexShields (@Claressashields) November 2, 2019
The 33-year-old was frustrating the Greek with fleet of foot and great movement, and Linardatou was limited to the odd bursts of success.
Taylor was able to nullify the champion’s threat, as she continued to beat her opponent to the punch.
The eighth saw toe-to-toe action, with Taylor momentarily stopped in her tracks by a Linardatou right hand.
The final round was much of the same, with Linardatou fighting in bursts, and Taylor happy to box off the back foot, as the fight went to the cards.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 2, 2019
Scores of 96-94 and 97-93 (twice) saw Taylor secure a belt in a second weight class.
A rematch with Delfine Persoon was an option discussed post fight as well as a meeting with Amanda Serrano, who has yo-yo’d up the weights, picking up belts in several divisions.
Crolla bows out with a victory
Anthony Crolla (35-7-3) bid a fond farewell to the sport at an emotionally charged Manchester Arena, as he scraped past the unheralded Frank Urquiaga (13-2-1) over ten rounds.
A final ring walk to his familiar Hometown Glory and Whitney Houston tunes saw the former WBA Lightweight Champion fiercely cheered to the ring by his adoring fans.
Urquiaga began with intent, as he landed to Crolla’s head and body in the first, with ‘Million Dollar’ struggling to gain a foothold.
The Barcelona-based, Peruvian was more than holding his own, as he mixed up his attacks to good effect, and there was an argument that he had taken the first three rounds, as he landed with meaty shots to the body that were troubling the hometown hero.
Crolla finally came into the contest in the fifth, despite a bloodied nose, as he got closer to the visitor. Urquiaga was beginning to slow, and Crolla landed some decent body shots in the sixth, but it was still proving difficult work for him.
End of an era …
Huge thanks @ant_crolla for an amazing 10 years with brilliant memories ,highs & the lows , loved it all.Wishing you a healthy happy retirement & huge success for your future journey .
The kid who was too nice and couldn’t punch hey ? … You did it all 🥊👑❤️ pic.twitter.com/ezQVMpiPdF
— Joe Gallagher (@JoeG) November 3, 2019
It seemed all to play for in the final round, as the two embraced before engaging. Crolla gave it his all as the crowd found their voice again, but Urquiaga saw out the fight comfortably as his fate lay in the judges hands.
Michael Alexander scored a 95-95 draw, overruled by Steve Gray in a far too wide 98-92 and Howard Foster who had it 97-93.
Crolla didn’t entertain the idea of carrying on post-fight, and reflected on a fairytale career, and he goes into retirement as a fantastic servant to the sport.
On the undercard, Felix Cash (12-0) kept hold of his Commonwealth Middleweight title, as he eventually stopped Jack Cullen (17-2) inside eight absorbing rounds.
The opener saw challenger Cullen down within the first minute, with several clubbing right hands sending the Little Lever man to the canvas, and dazed. To his credit though, although he took punishment on the resumption, Cullen then gave as good as he got to see the round out.
The second saw Cullen stand his ground, and the pair were involved in some absorbing trades of punches, with neither backing down.
Cullen was as brave as they come, and kept himself a mobile target while getting some point scoring shots off of his own.
Cash was beginning to become frustrated at not being able to get Cullen out of the fight, but in the seventh a big left hand to the temple dropped the English Champion for a second time, but Cullen survived the count.
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) November 2, 2019
Cash sensed the end was nigh, as he clubbed away in round eight with vicious right hands, and after a sustained attack referee Howard Foster was left with little choice but to stop the contest.
Birthday girl, Terri “Belter” Harper (9-0) retained her IBO Super Featherweight Title with a one sided points win against the teak tough Viviane Obenauf (14-6-0) over ten rounds.
Harper boxed beautifully throughout, and controlled the pace, while landing accurate shots to the visitor, that gradually caused more and more damage, particularly to the Brazilian’s face.
Obenauf, who beat Natasha Jonas and took Katie Taylor the distance in defeat, was defiant to the end even though she was desperately tired, and she deservedly got to see the final bell.
The scorecards read 99-91, 99-92 and 97-93 in what was an impressive win for Harper.
Martin Bakole (15-1) opened the televised portion of the card with an impressive second round stoppage of Rodney Hernandez (13-9-2).
BaKOle 💥@MartinBakole17 gets another knockout win. That's 4 in a row now! 👏
📺 Terri Harper is up next on Sky Sports Action pic.twitter.com/rbRS7lHgwV
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) November 2, 2019
Hernandez, who had previously been the distance with Adam Kownacki and Sergey Kuzmin among others, was no match for Bakole.
The end came towards the end of the second round, where, after an accumulation of unanswered blows, a glancing hard left hand floored Hernandez, with referee Steve Gray waving the fight off immediately.
Full undercard results
Qais Ashfaq bt Joe Ham- TD
Gamal Yafai bt Lee Clayton- TKO
Dalton Smith bt Michael Isaac Carrero- TKO
Nathan Farrell bt Ivica Gogosevic- PTS