Ochigava injury aids Taylor

Katie Taylor: Will meet Chinese southpaw Junhua Yin in tomorrow's semi-final.

Katie Taylor reached the semi-finals of the AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships in Jeju, South Korea yesterday without throwing a punch.

The Olympic champion was down to meet Sofya Ochigava in yesterday’s lightweight quarter-final but the Russian, who has had problems with a knee injury over the last few years, did not weigh-in and Taylor received a walkover.

The Russian was limping after earning a split decision from a torrid battle with Brazil’s Adriana dos Santos on Thursday.

“After the contest yesterday I actually pointed out to Katie and I said to her that Ochigava wouldn’t fight today,” said Pete Taylor, who is working his daughter’s corner in Jeju.

This is the second successive occasion the AIBA World No. 1 has received a walkover at the quarter-final stage of the AIBA World Elite Women’s Championships.

Two years ago Romania’s Mihaela Lacatus had to withdraw from her World quarter-final with the Wicklow orthodox in China because of injury.

Taylor, now guaranteed to be taking home at least a bronze medal from Jeju, is targeting a fifth successive lightweight gold at the 67-nation championships.

She’ll meet Chinese southpaw Junhua Yin in the last-four early on tomorrow morning. Sunday’s programme begins at 5am (Irish time).

Yin beat Bulgaria’s Denista Eliseeva on a majority decision yesterday. Eliseeva holds a controversial decision over Taylor from the Strandja Memorial final in Bulgaria in 2011. That was the last time that Taylor was beaten.

Yesterday’s win was sweet revenge for 24-year-old Yin as she dropped a split decision to the Bulgarian in the Strandja Memorial final earlier this year.

France’s Estelle Mossely, who Taylor beat in the 2013 and 2014 European Union and European finals, and Azerbaijan’s Yana Allekseeva clash in the other semi-final tomorrow.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s fight, Taylor joked that moving southpaws are her favourite.

“I was ready to fight today and I was all geared up for it. I love those big fights. I’m sure a lot of people are disappointed, she said.

“It’s just unfortunate for Sofya with that injury, I wish her all the best. I’m just delighted to be in the semi-final. What can you do, I just have to focus on the next fight.

“The moving southpaws, they’re me favourites! It is going to be a tough fight. There are no easy fights at this stage of the competition anyway. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”


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