Wednesday 17 January 2018

Boxing: Golden girl Taylor turns focus to Worlds

Bernard O'Neill

KATIE TAYLOR believes that if she performs to her full potential she can win a third AIBA world lightweight title in-a-row in Barbados next month.

The Bray woman claimed her third European Union lightweight gold on the trot in Keszthely, Hungary on Saturday following a 16-1 rout of Denicia Eliseeva of Bulgaria.

The win -- Taylor's 95th in 101 fights since 2001 -- was a repeat of the 2009 EU final which the Irish woman won 8-1 in Bulgaria.

She racked up 37 points and conceded just five in four bouts in winning her ninth major international gold in Hungary -- but now her focus is on a much more prestigious hat-trick in Barbados.

"The European Union Championships was ideal as I got four bouts under my belt against quality opposition and that's what we came out here for," said Taylor.

"I'm delighted to have retained my European Union title and Hungary was ideal preparation for the World Championships which are just a few weeks away now.

"I've been training for the Worlds all year and I can't wait for it to begin, although it is going to be an awful lot tougher in Barbados.

"Winning three World titles in-a-row is my ambition and I'm confident that if I box to my full potential out there that I can do just that. But it will be very tough and I'm under no illusions about that.

"The Russians and the eastern Europeans and the Chinese will be there and nothing will come easy."

Taylor was beaten (8-1) for the first time in three years by 2006 AIBA world bantamweight (54kg) champion Sofya Ochigava of Russia in the Czech Republic last March.

Taylor added: "I didn't box to my full potential against Ochigava that day and she won fair and square, but the fight was a lot closer than the score.

"I hope she's in my weight category in Barbados."

Irish Independent

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