Olympic champion Katie Taylor and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Michaela Walsh posted landslide last-32 victories at the AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships in Jeju, South Korea yesterday.
The Wicklow lightweight and Belfast bantamweight beat Dominica’s Valerian Spicer and Jamaica’s Sarah Joy Rae respectively on unanimous decisions to join Claire Grace in the last 16.
Grace is set to meet Turkey’s Guluzar Kara today, but it remains to be seen if the Kilkenny southpaw will pass this morning’s medical due to a cut over her left eye sustained in Monday’s win against Romania’s Cristina Stanca.
Taylor, biding for a fifth successive title in Jeju, recorded her 21st world championship win in 22 outings at the expense of England-born Spicer.
The victory was her first world championships win under the AIBA 10-point must scoring system, which has replaced computer scoring.
The Bray woman rarely had to move out of second gear against an opponent who remained in damage limitations mode for almost all four rounds.
She’ll now meet Finland’s Mira Potkonen in the last 16 tomorrow, one win away from a potential rematch with Russia’s Sofya Ochigava in Friday’s quarter-finals.
Ochigava, who Taylor beat in the 2012 world and Olympic finals, defeated England’s Chantelle Cameron yesterday.
“She (Spicer) was defensive. It was a good win for Katie and she boxed well, her first fight. She is against the Finland girl on Thursday, I don’t think that will be a problem,” said Ireland’s Georgia-born coach Zuar Antia.
Meanwhile, Walsh convincingly beat Rae over four, two minute rounds in a repeat of their Commonwealth Games meeting of last August, which Walsh also won.
Rae took two standing counts in the fourth round.
“Michaela boxed brilliantly and I thought the Jamaican girl should have taken standing counts in the second round,” said Irish team manager Anna Moore.
“What can you say about Katie, Katie is Katie; her body shots were brilliant. Both girls were outstanding.”
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