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Taylor in world of her own as Bray ace hooks hat-trick

KATIE TAYLOR claimed her third AIBA World title on the trot, scooped the boxer of the tournament award and landed a lucrative three-year sponsorship deal with Digicel chief Denis O'Brien in Barbados on Saturday.

The weekend's triumph at the sixth Women's World Championships was also her 100th career victory from 106 starts since 2001, but other than that it was just another routine day for Ireland's most successful athlete of the 21st century.

Taylor landed a historic treble following an emphatic 18-5 verdict over Chinese lightweight Cheng Dong to claim her third gold at this level since 2006.

The 60kg final was a repeat of the 2008 World decider in which the 24-year-old Bray woman hammered Dong 13-2 to land her second World title in Ningbo city, China.

And Taylor, the reigning European and European Union champion, also scooped the best boxer award from the 75-nation tournament, an award she also bagged in Ningbo two years ago.

All eyes will now be on the 2012 AIBA World Championships in Chongqing, China, which will act as the only qualifier for female boxers for the London Olympics.

Saturday's victory confirms Taylor as the best pound-for-pound female boxer on the planet, but the golden girl of world amateur boxing is still waiting for it all to sink in.

"I can't believe it really. It's a fantastic feeling to have retained my title out here," she said.

Ceire Smith, Allana Murphy and Sinead Kavanagh were also in action in Barbados and Katie's dad and coach Peter was full of praise for their efforts.

"The girls gave it everything and Katie was absolutely brilliant on Saturday night."

IABA director of boxing Dominic O'Rourke hailed the 2008 AIBA World female boxer of the year as outstanding and team manager Stephen Connolly described the three-time world champ as an absolute gem.