Katie will need to be at her best,says Walsh

Olympic champion Katie Taylor will have to be at her best to secure a sixth successive European title in Bucharest, according to Irish head coach Billy Walsh.

Katie will need to be at her best,says Walsh

Taylor beat Bulgarian lightweight Denitsa Eliseeva on a unanimous decision (40-36, 40-36, 40-36) yesterday to set up today’s final with France’s Estelle Mossely.

Mossely, whom Taylor beat in the European Union final in Hungary last July, shocked Russian southpaw Sofya Ochigava on a unanimous decision yesterday.

Walsh was impressed with Taylor but felt there was still room for improvement.

“It was a polished performance from Katie and the tactics were spot on,” he said. “She kept changing her angles of attack and she used the diversion tactics well. It will be a tough final tomorrow. The French girl has just beaten the Olympic silver medallist, although the public warnings were a factor. I thought Ochigava won the first two rounds.

“We’re not going to get a repeat of the Olympic final, the dream final that everyone wanted. It will be a tough one and Katie will have to perform as Mossely will be confident.”

Taylor will be aiming for her 23rd straight European win since first claiming European gold in Norway in 2005 today while victory will secure her 16th straight major title.

Boxing begins at 12pm (Irish time) today and Taylor and Mossely will be in the ring at approximately 1pm.

Meanwhile Kilkenny southpaw Clare Grace bowed out of the tournament at the last-four stage after dropping a unanimous decision to Stacey Copeland, an former England U21 soccer international. The 20-year-old left everything in the ring against the boxer 12 years her senior and traded heavy shots throughout the four rounds. But Copeland was getting the better of the exchanges, leaving Grace to settle for bronze.

“I thought that Clare Grace showed tremendous heart and spirit against an experienced opponent. She gave it everything and it was a really gutsy performance.”

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up