Katie Taylor suffers nose injury but begins world title defence with victory in Astana
KATIE TAYLOR ended up with a bloody nose after convincingly advancing to within two wins of qualifying for her second Olympics at the AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan yesterday.
The Olympic lightweight champion, who is aiming to become the first woman in the history of the sport to claim six successive lightweight titles in Central Asia, beat Sweden’s ex World Youth champion Agnes Alexiusson on Saturday afternoon.
Taylor, who beat Alexiusson in her hometown of Bray last year, scored a unanimous decision - 40-36,39-37,40-36 - over four, two minute rounds versus the Swede in Central Asia and will meet Argentina’s Dayana Sanchez in the last 16 on Monday.
Taylor, indicating to the ref because of Alexiusson’s dangerous use of her head, had to receive attention to a bloody nose after a clash of heads in the second. The Bray woman looked sharp throughout and rattled Alexiusson with a superb left hook in the final round.
Saturday’s victory was Taylor’s 26th in 27 World Championships outings since 2005. Meanwhile, Donna Barr lost on her World Elite debut to Canada’s Kim Klavel yesterday. The Donegal light-fly appeared to have the measure of Klavel in the first round with some well-timed counters off the back foot.
But Klavel edged the frame 10-9 across the board before forcing the Irishwoman into standing counts off two solid rights in the second and third. She also took the fourth frame on all cards to seal a comprehensive victory.
Kelly Harrington and Grainne Walsh, the only two other Irish boxers left in the tournament besides Taylor, are in action today. The top four in each of the three Olympics weights for women – flyweight, lightweight and middleweight – qualify for Rio.
Cavan flyweight and Cork middleweight Ceire Smith and Christina Desmond lost this week in Kazakhstan and Ireland will not have female boxers in these weights in Rio as Astana is the final Olympic qualifier for women.
AIBA World Women’s Championships Astana, Kazakhstan
May 21st (Last 32)
48kg Donna Barr (Ireland) lost to Kim Klavel (Canada) 0-3
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Agnes Alexiusson (Sweden) 3-0
May 22nd (Last 16)
64kg Kelly Harrington (Ireland) v Cindy Rogge (Germany)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) v Hanna Solecka (Poland)