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Five-time world champ Taylor remains the one to beat

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Taylor will go into 2016 ranked No. 1 in the world for an unprecedented 10th successive year regardless of how she performs at the inaugural European Games in Baku next June. Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Taylor will go into 2016 ranked No. 1 in the world for an unprecedented 10th successive year regardless of how she performs at the inaugural European Games in Baku next June. Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

Taylor will go into 2016 ranked No. 1 in the world for an unprecedented 10th successive year regardless of how she performs at the inaugural European Games in Baku next June. Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Katie Taylor will pick up 1,200 points when the International Boxing Association (AIBA) update their rankings to reflect performances at the recent World Women's Elite Championships in South Korea.

In theory, that bonus will ensure she will be seeded No 1 for the 2016 World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan, which will act as an Olympic qualifier for Rio 2016.

However, as the countdown to her Olympic title defence begins, the Bray BC orthodox, who claimed her fifth successive world title in Jeju last Monday, can quite legitimately ask what is the point of having a ranking system if there is no seeding.

Taylor and the world's top female boxers went into the hat for the unseeded draw in Jeju this month and could have been drawn against each other in the preliminary rounds.

There was no seeding at the European Women's Elite Championships in Romania earlier this year, when Taylor won her sixth lightweight title on the trot, either. The 2013 AIBA World's Men's Elite Championships were seeded, based on AIBA rankings. Taylor was the only boxer to successfully defend her title in Jeju and is now, courtesy of the astonishing 17 gold medals she has won at Olympic, World, European and EU level, the most successful female boxer of all time.

Monday's win saw the 28-year-old Wicklow woman, the current Olympic champion, equal Mary Kom's record of five consecutive world titles.

However, the Indian legend, who had a Bollywood film released about her boxing exploits earlier this year, has not won Olympic gold. She secured a bronze medal at London 2012 and also has fewer Continental titles than Taylor. Taylor (right) will go into 2016 ranked No 1 in the world for an unprecedented 10th successive year regardless of how she performs at the inaugural European Games in Baku next June.

Taylor arrived home on Tuesday last and the usual questions about turning professional resurfaced, questions which ignore the fact that she's already a pro boxer. She boxes more, trains more, has better coaches, is a better boxer and earns more that any female fighter on the pro circuit.

Taylor, Michaela Walsh, Joanne Lambe and Claire Grace, represented Ireland at the eighth edition of the Word Championships. Taylor beat Azerbaijan's Yana Allekseeva in last Monday's 60kg decider at the 67-nation tournament. It was her 25th win in 26 outings at the World Championships over the last nine years. The only time she was beaten at this level was in Russia in 2005 where she dropped a points decision to North Korea's Kang Kum Hui in the last-eight.

"The final was tough. It was a tactical fight and I was delighted to come through it. I was thinking about it (Kom's record) all week, I was hoping that I was going to equal that record," said Taylor, who has won 154 fights in her 161-bout career - a 95 per cent strike rate. "The first place I always go to is my granny to show her the medal," she added after arriving home last Tuesday. One Olympic, five World, six European and five European Union gold medals have been paraded through her granny's house over the last nine years.

The only boxers to have beaten Taylor in her career are Denista Eliseeva (Bulgaria), Kang Kum-Hui (North Korea), Sofya Ochigava (Russia), Yulia Nemtsova (Russia) and Gulsum Tatar (Turkey). The Eliseeva and Ochigava defeats were extremely controversial decisions, however.

Taylor, incidentally, has never competed in multi-nation tournaments since the defeat to Eliseeva in 2011, as she will not be the subject of home-town decisions. She now invites boxers to Ireland for competitive bouts before major tournaments, which use neutral judges.

She says she wants to win a second Olympic gold at Rio 2016 and be remembered as the greatest of all time.

Maybe the biggest compliment she can be paid, in a week in which she once again grabbed the national and international headlines, is that the world's top boxing nations, particularly Russia, will be glad to see the back of her when she is gone.

However, she served notice again last week that she has no intention or relinquishing her lightweight crown and that she is still the one to beat on the road to the Rio Olympics.

Katie Taylor's World Championship record

2005 Podolsk, Russia

beat Pranamika Borah (India) 34-22; lost in quarter-final to Kang Kum Hui (North Korea) 13-28

2006 New Delhi, India

beat Eva Wahlstrom (Finland) RSCO2; beat Florina Popa (Romania) RSCO2; beat Tatyana Chalaya (Russia) 23-6; beat Annabella Farias (Argentina) 31-14 in final

2008 Ningbo City, China

beat Emma Carruthers (Australia) 20-3; beat Danuse Dilhofave (Czech Rep) 4-3; beat Celeste Peralta (Argentina) RSCI; beat Aizanat Gadzhieva (Russia) 20-2; beat Dong Cheng (China) 13-2 in final

2010 Bridgetown, Barbados

beat Neetu Chahal (India) 12-2; beat Adrian Araujo (Brazil) 20-5; beat Anastasia Belyakova (Russia) 16-1; beat Queen Underwood (USA) 18-16; beat Dong Cheng (China) 18-5 in final

2012 Qinhuangdao, China

beat Rim Jouini (Tunisia) 19-6; beat Saida Khasenova (Kazakhstan) RSC4; beat Mihaela Cijevschi-Lacatus (Romania) W/O; beat Mavzuna Chorayeva (Tajikistan) 16-6; beat Sofya Ochigava (Russia) 11-7 in final

2014 Jeju, South Korea

beat Valerian Spicer (Dominica) 3-0; beat Mira Potkonen (Finland) 3-0; beat Sofya Ochigava (Russia) W/O; beat Junhua Yin (China) TKO4; beat Yana Allekseeva (Azerbaijan) 3-0 in final

Sunday Indo Sport