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Katie defends yet another title as she's named top female fighter

Taylor follows in Ali's footsteps for second win

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Katie Taylor with her world title belts. Photo: Sportsfile

Katie Taylor with her world title belts. Photo: Sportsfile

Katie Taylor with her world title belts. Photo: Sportsfile

Katie Taylor has been named Female Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers' Association of America (BWAA) for the second year in a row.

"It's such an honour to be chosen twice," said Taylor.

"To win this award again is amazing."

Taylor, the current undisputed lightweight world champion, is the first boxer to retain the award, which is named after the female pro fighter Christy Martin.

Bray fighter Taylor (34), who also tops the BWAA's best pound-for-pound ranking list, held off the challenge of former opponent Jessica McCaskill to win the Christy Martin trophy

McCaskill became the undisputed welterweight world champion in August when she beat Cecilia Braekhus.

Taylor had just two fights in 2019, defeating Delfine Persoon in their eagerly awaited rematch before retaining her five world belts against WBA mandatory challenger Miriam Gutierrez last month.

Tough

"It was a tough decision between Katie and Jessica," said Thomas Gerbasi, who chairs the BWAA women's seven-┬┤strong selection committee.

"In fairness, the McCaskill-Braekhus fight was very close, while Katie beat Delfine Persoon the second time more convincing than she did the first time.

"Delfine has long been on the pound-for-pound list.

"Then, Katie defended all her titles against undefeated Miriam Gutierrez, who came in highly touted and was among The Ring's top five lightweights. Katie beat her convincingly."

The BWAA equivalent male award - the Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year - has only been retained three times: Muhammad Ali in 1974 and then in 1975 when he shared it with Joe Frazier; Evander Holyfield 1996/1997 and Manny Pacquiao 2008/2009.

Taylor, who is currently enjoying a break at home in Co Wicklow, said she hoped to be back in action next February or March.

"I'm not too sure who or where it will be, but I'm excited to be fighting again," she said.

"Going into 2020 I was hoping it would a good year for me.

"I was happy to finish off the year fighting my mandatory and I'm delighted to finish my year off strong.

"I always go into every year trying to make huge strides in the sport."

Amanda Serrano - who was to have fought Taylor this year before pulling out when it was rescheduled for Eddie Hearn's estate in Essex - returns to the ring tonight in the Dominican Republic .

She takes on Dahiana Santana in a repeat of their 2017 fight.


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