Thursday 21 September 2017

Superb Katie gets her hat-trick of world titles

Daniel McConnell

Daniel McConnell

Irish boxing fans celebrated last night as Katie Taylor made it a hat-trick of world titles after a comfortable and accomplished victory in Barbados.

It was a superb performance by the 23-year-old Bray native who has ensured a place in the history books.

Last night's win was Taylor's third victory in the event, following previous triumphs in 2006 and 2008.

President Mary McAleese led the congratulations last night saying Taylor's victory was a remarkable feat.

She said: "I warmly congratulate Katie Taylor on her outstanding achievement in winning the Women's World Boxing Championship for the third successive time. This is a remarkable sporting feat of which we can all be immensely proud. All of Ireland was willing Katie on this evening and I join them in sending warmest best wishes to Katie."

Taylor made light work of her taller Chinese opponent and won 18-5 in the end. At the final bell, the champion fell to her knees and saluted the sizeable Irish crowd who greeted her victory with cheers of "ole, ole, ole".

The fight was a repeat of her 2008 final against China's Cheng Dong, in the 60kg category at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex in Bridgetown.

She took to the ring shortly after 8.15pm and, following a frenetic first round, Taylor led 4-2. She extended her lead to 10-2 after a superb second round. By the end of the third she was in total control leading 13-3, and the result at that stage was not in doubt.

Taylor made it into her third final after a thrilling 18-16 victory over American Queen Underwood. After running into an early lead, Taylor finished badly and looked to be heading out of the competition at 16-all. But two accurate punches in the final few seconds of the bout sealed a win.

Meanwhile, Irish businessman Denis O'Brien will sponsor Taylor for the next three years, it emerged last night.

Digicel CEO Barry O'Brien confirmed that O'Brien would be sponsoring the three-time world champion for a "substantial amount" beyond the London Olympics.

See Page 1 Sport

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