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'It's an absolute privilege to equal Mary Kom's record'


Indian Boxer Mary Kom

Indian Boxer Mary Kom

Hindustan Times Via Getty Images

Indian Boxer Mary Kom

KATIE TAYLOR was confirmed as the top pound-for-pound female amateur boxer in the world in Jeju in yesterday.

The Bray woman beat Azerbaijan's Yana Alekseeva on a unanimous decision (40-36, 39-37, 39-37) to claim her fifth successive lightweight World title since ascending the 60kg podium in New Delhi in 2006.

Yesterday's victory the Olympic champion match Mary Kom's record of five consecutive AIBA World titles.

"It's an absolute privilege to equal that record of five world titles, I thank God for another great victory," she said.

Kom won five World gold medals at two different weights between 2002 and 2010. However, the Indian, who Taylor describes as a legend and who took home bronze from London 2012, has never won Olympic gold.

Taylor maintained her patience and composure to outfox southpaw Alekseeva, who fought as Yana Sydor for the Ukraine up to 2012.

The Irish woman found the target with two flashing combinations to take the opening frame on two of the judges' cards and a brace of right hooks helped her win the second round 10-9 across the board.

The judges split 2-1 in favour of Taylor, who was working well off the backhand, in the third, leaving Alekseeva needing a knockout in the fourth and final stanza to claim victory.

But with Taylor up on her toes and responding to anything that Alekseeva threw at her with rapid responses off both hands, that was never going to happen.

She said: "I'm absolutely delighted. It was such a tight contest. Every round was very, very close and very tricky. The tactics from my dad and Zaur (Irish coaches) were spot on again.

"It's not hard to find motivation. Every contest is so tight. Every Championship is so hard to win and so hard to defend. I know how hard it is to win one world title.

"To keep defending it is an absolute huge challenge. I'm going to try to defend my Olympic title now and try to make history."

She also intends to take a well-earned break.

"I'm taking a good rest now. A few weeks off to enjoy Christmas and then I'll be back for next year," she said.

Pete Taylor and Zaur Antia and Gerry Storey were working Ireland's corner in Jeju.

Taylor, Michaela Walsh, Joanne Lambe and Claire Grace represented Ireland in Jeju. Ireland finished in joint fifth spot in the medals table at the 67-nation tournament.

Team Ireland arrive home via Dublin airport this evening, the fifth time in the Bray BC star will have returned through Dublin airport with a world gold. Maybe they should name a terminal after her.

Taylor will have a new challenge next year as she will be aiming for gold at the inaugural European Games in Azerbaijan.

Irish Independent