Despite a unanimous win, classy Katie Taylor handed defeated Victoria Bustos back her belt after their New York fight.
The 31-year-old champ defeated Victoria Bustos over ten rounds, causing the Argentine to hand over the belt she had previously held on to for five consecutive years.
Winning her ninth professional bout, this New York victory meant that the Bray woman has become a unified lightweight world champion. She is one of only seven professional women boxers who have held unified titles across the sport's divisions.
Taylor was awarded the fight unanimously - 99-91, 99-91, 98-92 - at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn and claimed the IBF lightweight title.
The former Olympian secured the WBA belt in Cardiff last October.
Saturday night's fight was 29-year-old Bustos’ 23rd professional bout and the sixth defense of her IBF title.
Despite winning the IBF belt, Taylor proceeded to visit Bustos in her dressing room and hand the belt back to her.
"You are a great champion, Thanks so much," she said.
Watch the moment @KatieTaylor paid a visit to Victoria Bustos’ dressing room to hand back her IBF World Title after their 10 round contest. A new version of the IBF Title is on the way to Ireland ?? #TaylorBustos #ChampChamp pic.twitter.com/1XDubQUXYz— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) April 29, 2018
While it's normal practice for a champion to hold onto the belt despite a loss, it's unusual for it to be returned by the person who has just won it! However, Matchroom Boxing confirmed a new belt would be making its way to Ireland.
Taylor, who said she is on a mission to obtain even more world titles by the end of the year, paid tribute to Bustos' prowess.
"A tough, tough contest. I had to work for every second of every round there," Taylor told Sky Sports.
"She was obviously a proven champ coming into this fight so I knew I had to be sharp. I'm just so, so happy right now.
Promoter Eddie Hearn echoed her sentiments.
“We sat in the office a year-and-a-half ago with a plan to become the undisputed world champion. Tonight she’s unified the belts against a very good fighter. Bustos deserves a lot of credit - she was immensely tough in there," he told The Irish Times.
“Two belts down, two to go. It’s just a brilliant story. Katie Taylor, lighting up both sides of the Atlantic. We know they love her in the UK, Ireland; now they’re going to love her in America as well."
Taylor now looks to emulate Norwegian welterweight Cecila Braekhus, the only undisputed World champion and World super middleweight pro champion, and secure all four belts.