With Olympic qualification secured Katie Taylor gets back to doing what she does best — winning medals — at the women’s world boxing championships in Qinhuangdao, China today when she faces Mavzuna Choriyeva.
The 19-year-old Asian champion is relatively inexperienced compared to Taylor who is chasing her fourth successive world title.
Katie’s father and coach, Pete, insisted last night that they are taking nothing for granted and are well aware of the enormity of the task that lies ahead.
“This is the semi-final of the world championships so it’s going to be a very hard fight,” he said. “Achieving Olympic qualification was a huge relief but, at the end of the day, this tournament is about defending her world title and Katie wants to win that gold medal. She has two more fights to do that so it is going to be tough.
“Having said that, she is pretty confident. She trained again today and she is in very good form. In fact, things could not have gone better for her out here. When it comes to winning medals she has been down this road many times before. She has five European gold medals already and, when you look at it, Europe had six girls in the last eight and now has three in the last four and that just shows you the strength of women’s boxing in Europe and how difficult it is to win medals in Europe.
“Katie is delighted to have qualified for the Olympics — it’s really a dream come true — but she came out here to win her fourth world title.”
Choriyeva is 10 places below Katie Taylor in the world rankings and her breakthrough came when she won a gold medal at the Asian Championships in Astana in Kazakhstan two years ago — beating Dong Cheng in the process, and at the last world championships in Barbados, she lost to Queen Underwood on countback before the American went on to give Taylor all sorts of problems in the semi-finals.
She has had a fine run in China with victories over Ala Yarshevich (Belarus), world No. 5 ranked Karolina Graczyk (Poland), stopping Antonia Shevchenko (Kyrgyzstan) and then causing an upset by out-pointing French woman, Estelle Mossely, a result that ensured Olympic qualification for Taylor.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved