Taylor expecting difficult decider
IRISH coach Pete Taylor reckons that today's World Women's Championship lightweight final between Katie Taylor and Russian southpaw Sofya Ochigava will be a 50/50 affair.
Taylor watched his daughter advance to within one win of claiming her fourth AIBA World title in a row with a 16-6 semi-final decision over Mavzuna Chorieva of Tajikistan in Qinhuangdao, China yesterday.
Taylor (25), who was seven points up going into the fourth and final round, forced the Tajik champion, a 2010 Asian Championships gold medalist, into a standing count in the last frame.
The Bray woman, rarely moving out of second gear, dominated yesterday's four-rounder and repeatedly found the target with basic, but very effective, right-jab, left-hook combinations.
She'll meet Ochigava at around 8.0 this morning in a repeat of the 2011 European final in Rotterdam which Taylor won 10-5 to secure her fifth European gold medal on the trot.
Ochigava (24) claimed AIBA World titles at 52kg and 54kg in 2005 and 2006 before moving up to the lightweight (60kg) Olympic category.
The Odintsovo-native set up today's rematch with Taylor after racking up an 18-10 win over England's Natasha Jonas in the other semi-final.
Today's final will have a bearing on the 2012 Olympics Games as the winner will be seeded in London.
With just 12 female boxers in the lightweight class at the 30th Olympiad, the No 1 seed will get a bye into the quarter-finals and will be just one win away from at least a bronze medal.
Pete Taylor, who is working Ireland's corner with Zuar Antia, a multiple Georgian champion, is well aware of the significance.
"It's going to be a great final. I think it's a 50/50 fight. We studied the girl (Chorieva) and we knew she worked on the counter all the time," he said. "We told Katie to make good feints and to get out and she did that perfect.
"We just worried about when they got close because the girl was there with the shoulder a little bit. We just told her (Katie) to stay clean."
Taylor, who was controversially beaten by Ochigava in the Czech Republic in 2010, said that she was delighted with yesterday's win.
"She (Chorieva) was very strong. I kept her off with my jab and picked her off with the left hook all the time," said the Bray boxer. "It worked perfectly, really."
World Women's Lightweight Final,
Live, RTE1, 8.0am