Saturday 23 September 2017

Boxing: Draw leaves Taylor five bouts away from fourth World title

Bernard O'Neill

KATIE TAYLOR will have to win five bouts in China to claim her fourth AIBA World lightweight title in-a-row.

The Bray woman opens her campaign at the seventh AIBA World Women's Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Qinhuangdao, with a last-32 clash against either Tunisia's Rim Jouini or Portugal's Juliana da Rocha Canedo on Monday morning (Irish time).

Taylor's Irish team-mates Ceire Smith and Sinead Kavanagh will be in last-64 action early this morning against Tajikistani flyweight Veglina Svetlana and Venezuelan middleweight Francelis Paez Carmona.

Jouini, a bronze medal winner at featherweight at the 2010 World Championships in Barbados, and da Rocha Canedo clash today with the winner advancing to meet Taylor, who was seeded No 1 in yesterday's draw.

Russia's Sofya Ochigava, Turkey's Gulsum Tatar and China's Cheng Dong, who are seen as the biggest threats to Taylor, came out in the other half of yesterday's lightweight draw.

The championships are acting as the only Olympic qualifier for female boxers in the flyweight, lightweight and middleweight classes.

Three Olympics places are available for Europe in each of those three weight categories at the Olympic Stadium in Qinhuangdao.

Taylor's coach and dad, Peter, who is working Ireland's corner along with Zuar Antia in China, said that they will be looking to get off to a winning start today.

"Ceire and Sinead are in Saturday and they are eager to get in the ring and get the tournament underway and hopefully they'll get us off to a winning start," he said.

"The draw is the draw and what's there is there in front of us.

"The Tunisian girl won bronze at the last World Championships -- she obviously has some pedigree.

"She'll meet the girl from Portugal on Saturday and it will be interesting to see who wins that one.

"The squad are taking it one fight at a time.

"There's no point in looking too far ahead at these tournaments."

More than 300 boxers from 77 nations have entered the Championships, breaking all records for entries from the last six AIBA World Women's Championships.

Irish Independent

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