Taylor begins EU title quest with confident win

Taylor begins EU title quest with confident win

Katie Taylor launched her bid for a fifth straight EU lightweight title with a fourth round stoppage of Hungarian opponent Benke Sara this afternoon.

Taylor, who is now assured of at least a bronze medal, forced Sara into standing counts in the second and third rounds and completed a convincing victory in the fourth.

The Olympic champion advances to meet Finland's Mira Potkonen in the semi-finals on Friday, with the Finish fighter having overcome Svetlana Stavena of Bulgaria earlier today.

The Championships are taking place at the Helikon Hotel in Keszthely, Hungary, and Irish champion Kristina O'Hara, competing for the 48kg youth crown, guaranteed Ireland's first silver medal of the event by scoring a unanimous decision over Stephanie Silva from Italy.

But O'Hara's Belfast colleague Christine Gargan was defeated by France's Wassily Lkhadiri in their bantanweight bout, while Dervla Duffy from

Meanwhile, Newbridge fighter Dervla Duffy bowed out at the quarter-final stage of the senior bantanweight ranks to France's Delphine Mancini who narrowly won via a split decision.

Christine Desmond from Cork will be taking home bronze from Keszthely. The five-time Irish champion produced another brave performance in their 69kg youth contest, but was beaten by Germany's Carlota Hansen this afternoon.

Giving his reaction afterwards, Katie Taylor's father Peter said: "Katie is delighted with the win. The team are boxing very well under the conditions. It is very, very warm in the venue.

"I thought that Dervla Duffy performed very well in her quarter-final. She really sacrificed herself and I though she did enough to win it. It was a great performance."

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