Tuesday 21 November 2017

Boxing: Triumphant Taylor maps London path

Katie Taylor has plenty of reason to smile as she shows off her gold medal to well-wishers at Dublin Airport. Photo: Ray Mc Manus / Sportsfile
Katie Taylor has plenty of reason to smile as she shows off her gold medal to well-wishers at Dublin Airport. Photo: Ray Mc Manus / Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

This time next year, Katie Taylor hopes to be looking forward to fighting in the Olympic Games in London.

However, it's very much much one step at a time for the Bray woman, who claimed her fourth European Union title in a row with a comprehensive 25-9 win over Poland's Karolina Graczyk in Katowice on Saturday.

And, to add to the celebrations, she also scooped the Boxer of the Tournament award, while her Irish team-mates Lauragh O'Neill and Laoise Traynor both won bronze.

Taylor's next mission will be the European Championships in Rotterdam -- where she'll be aiming for an unprecedented five-in-a-row next October.

The focus will then begin to switch towards the 2012 AIBA World Championships, which doubles up as the only qualifier for the London Olympics -- in Chongqing, China, next April.

Taylor, who won four fights in five days in Poland, scoring 80 points and conceding 30, will be targeting her fourth successive World title in China.

"The European Championships is definitely the big one for me in 2011. The Europeans have been my target all along for this year and, hopefully, I will do well in Rotterdam," she said.

"The focus will then switch towards the World Championships and Olympic qualifier next year.

"Qualifying for the Olympics is my ultimate goal and there's no doubt that the next World Championships will be the biggest tournament of my life.

"I won gold at the World Championships in China a few years ago. The judging was very fair at that tournament and I'm confident that it will be the same next time."

Saturday's win secured for Taylor her 11th major title since 2005 and the 24-year-old champion reckons she fought the perfect fight in her duel with Graczyk.

"I was very pleased with my performance in the final. It got easier as it went along and I would like to thank my coaches -- my father, Zuar and John. They got the tactics spot-on," she said.

"Friday's semi-final and Saturday's final were two different fights and I was very pleased with my performances in both, particularly the final. I thought I boxed the perfect fight in the final."

Taylor laid the foundations for her triumph in the first round by building up a 5-1 lead. It was 10-3 at then end of the second, 17-6 after three and she then added a further eight points in the final round to complete her 25-9 triumph.

Irish Independent

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