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Taylor could face defence in Korea

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BOXING: Olympic champion Katie Taylor could defend her World Women's Elite title in South Korea later this year.

The championships were originally slated for Canada, but the tournament may now be hosted in Seoul or Incheon in October. Taylor will be aiming for her fifth successive belt at the Worlds since claiming lightweight gold in New Delhi in 2006.

The Bray woman will also be targeting her sixth successive European lightweight title in a host country to be decided this year.

Taylor beat Russian southpaw Sofya Ochigava in the 2012 World final just a few months before she defeated her in the Olympic final.

Ochigava has not fought in any international tournaments since London 2012. Taylor also overcame Ochigava in the 2011 European final in Rotterdam.

 

LI NA RISES TO OCCASION

TENNIS: Li Na is confident she will take winning the Australian Open title in her stride.

The 31-year-old added a second Grand Slam title to the French Open crown she won in 2011 with victory over Dominika Cibulkova at Melbourne Park on Saturday.

Li was the first Chinese player to win a Grand Slam singles title and the pressure on her shoulders was something she really struggled to deal with. Winning in Australia was the title Li really wanted after losing in the final in 2011 and 2013.

The victory will move her to within 11 points of Victoria Azarenka when the new rankings are released today.

 

BRADLEY TO DEFEND TITLE

BOXING: Tim Bradley will defend his WBO welterweight title against Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on April 12, promoter Top Rank has announced.

Undefeated Bradley wrested the title off Pacquiao via a controversial split decision in 2012, with two judges scoring the fight 115-113 in his favour and a third by the same score for the Filipino in a bout most believed the latter won easily.

A WBO-commissioned panel of five international judges all scored in favour of Pacquiao after viewing the fight.

However, a rematch did not initially emerge with Bradley going on to successfully defend the belt against Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez while Pacquiao suffered a defeat to Marquez in his next fight before overcoming Brandon Rios in November last year.

The eagerly anticipated encounter is now set for April with Top Rank confirming that the fight will take place at the MGM Grand.

 

GERRANS CLINCHES OZ WIN

CYCLING: Simon Gerrans won a record third Tour Down Under as the Orica-Green Edge rider marked Australia Day in Adelaide.

In front of 115,000 spectators, Gerrans beat Cadel Evans by one second to the title he won in 2006 and 2012 and also took the sprint classification with his team claiming the win in their classification.


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