Wednesday 7 December 2016

'Delighted' Katie Taylor registers unanimous victory in first bout in Baku

Mark Staniforth

Published 21/06/2015 | 15:06

21 June 2015; Katie Taylor, Ireland, left, exchanges punches with Denitsa Eliseeva, Bulgaria, during their Women's Boxing Light 60kg Round of 16 bout. 2015 European Games, Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
21 June 2015; Katie Taylor, Ireland, left, exchanges punches with Denitsa Eliseeva, Bulgaria, during their Women's Boxing Light 60kg Round of 16 bout. 2015 European Games, Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
21 June 2015; Katie Taylor, Ireland, is declared victorious over Denitsa Eliseeva, Bulgaria, following their Women's Boxing Light 60kg Round of 16 bout. 2015 European Games, Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
21 June 2015; Katie Taylor, Ireland, is declared victorious over Denitsa Eliseeva, Bulgaria, following their Women's Boxing Light 60kg Round of 16 bout. 2015 European Games, Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
21 June 2015; Katie Taylor, Ireland, is declared victorious over Denitsa Eliseeva, Bulgaria, following their Women's Boxing Light 60kg Round of 16 bout. 2015 European Games, Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
21 June 2015; Katie Taylor, Ireland, following her Women's Boxing Light 60kg Round of 16 bout victory over Denitsa Eliseeva, Bulgaria. 2015 European Games, Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
21 June 2015; Katie Taylor, Ireland, left, exchanges punches with Denitsa Eliseeva, Bulgaria, during their Women's Boxing Light 60kg Round of 16 bout. 2015 European Games, Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
21 June 2015; Katie Taylor, Ireland, right, exchanges punches with Denitsa Eliseeva, Bulgaria, during their Women's Boxing Light 60kg Round of 16 bout. 2015 European Games, Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Katie Taylor pronounced herself "hungrier than ever" to maintain her dominance at the top of the women's world lightweight division after making a successful start at the European Games in Baku on Sunday.

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The 28-year-old won an action-packed bout with Bulgaria's Denitsa Eliseeva to move into the last eight and insisted despite five world titles and an Olympic crown she has plenty of motivation to extend her reign.

Taylor said: "I'm hungrier than ever - I want to leave a great legacy and continue to win every major championships and I think it's always great to have new challenges.

"I think I have a lot to prove to the young boxers and I am looking to stamp my authority on them. It's great to see so many young female boxers coming through and the talent out there is outstanding."

Taylor showed no ill effects from a recent wrist injury as she calmly picked off the veteran Eliseeva, who set a furious pace in a vain attempt to derail the Bray fighter in the early stages.

But Taylor's sharpness saw her catch the eye of the judges in all four of the rounds to set up a last eight meeting with Ida Lundblad of Sweden.

Taylor added: "I'm nervous before every fight but I think those nerves are important. The pressure in every competition is the same and the first fight is always hard but I think you'll see I'll be a lot sharper next time."

Ireland light-welterweight Dean Walsh also advanced to the quarter-finals after coming on strong in the later part of the contest to edge out Russia's Maxim Dadashev via split decision.

Kilkenny heavyweight Darren O’Neill fights Raitis Sinkevits later today.Portlaoise middleweight Michael O’Reilly defeated Emir Sabotic of Montenegro to also advance to the last eight.

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