Katie Taylor is out of the Olympics after falling to a split-decision loss to World Championship bronze-medallist Mira Potkonen of Finland at Riocentro.
Taylor had already lost her world title and suffered a defeat in an Olympic qualifier before that this year but hopes were high that she would overcome the Finnish fighter she had never lost to previously to secure a first medal for Ireland’s increasingly beleaguered boxing team.
It wasn’t to be though and while there might be some question marks about the verdict – many observers felt that Taylor won three of the four rounds – this was undoubtedly far from a vintage performance by the 30-year-old.
Indeed Taylor betrayed her bewilderment in an emotional post-fight interview with RTÉ Sport when she said: “I should be beating these girls.”
She just about managed to hold back the tears during that interview but reportedly broke down when seeing her mother in the mixed zone straight afterwards.
Potkonen, who is a 35-year-old mother of two, was very aggressive throughout as Taylor attempted to utilise stealth and accuracy.
The Bray woman took the opener on a split but didn’t heed the warnings and she was tagged by a number of heavy right hands that turned the fight Potkonen’s favour as she took the honours unanimously, deservedly so.
Taylor produced her best round in the third, looking more like her old self as she capitalised on the openings presented to her and slipped the single shot coming in her direction from the mother of two.
Surprisingly, one judge gave that round to Potkonen and that was to be significant, as it left Taylor trailing on two scorecards going into the final two minutes.
Once more Taylor looked the busier and more accurate boxer, but Potkonen’s right was always a factor.
In the end, Mykola Karakulov awarded the verdict to Taylor by two points but Trong Nghia Vuong judged it in Potknonen’s favour by the same margin.
Clemente Carillo made it a draw and so had to choose a winner.
He went against Taylor and the dream was dead.
Irish fans left stunned after Katie Taylor's defeat in Rio. pic.twitter.com/LFtQ6arSOl— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) August 15, 2016