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Katie Taylor, Ireland, exchanges punches with Sofya Ochigava, Russia, during their women's light 60kg final contest

Katie Taylor, Ireland, exchanges punches with Sofya Ochigava, Russia, during their women's light 60kg final contest

Ireland's Sam Bennett recorded the first victory of his professional career at the Clasica de Almeria in Spain

Ireland's Sam Bennett recorded the first victory of his professional career at the Clasica de Almeria in Spain

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Katie Taylor, Ireland, exchanges punches with Sofya Ochigava, Russia, during their women's light 60kg final contest

RUSSIAN southpaw Sofya Ochigava is back and a repeat of her Olympic final with Katie Taylor is on the cards for the European Championships in Bucharest, Romania in June.

Following speculation about her retirement, Russian media has reported that she won a tournament in Moscow last Sunday.

Taylor (1) and Ochigava (4) are the two highest-ranked European lightweights in the world and will be seeded one and two for Bucharest, where they can only meet in the final.

Meanwhile, Taylor has registered to compete in the 2014 National Elite Championships, which begin on February 21.

Ireland's Sam Bennett continued his impressive debut in the professional peloton yesterday when he claimed fifth place on stage 4 of the Tour of Qatar, WRITES GERARD CROMWELL.

Bennett fought hard at the stage's climax, but was passed by Belkin's Barry Markus and Orica greenEdge sprinter Aidis Kroupis. The fifth-placed finish gave him the first UCI points of his pro career as race leader Niki Terpstra retained his overall lead.

An unbeaten century from Shaun Marsh guided Australia to 297-4 on the opening day of the three-Test series against South Africa.

Marsh hit 12 fours in his second Test ton as he shared an unbroken stand of 199 with Steve Smith (91).

Meanwhile, former Test players Angus Fraser and Paul Collingwood have been brought back into the England fold as a selector and coach for the ODI tour of the West Indies and World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

Lee Cole earned Ireland a share of the points against England at the Four Nations U-21 event in Newtownabbey last night.

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Luke Taylor's first-half strike gave England the lead before Cole's leveller. Ireland face Germany tonight.


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