Just one boxer stands between Katie Taylor and a fourth successive world title after another thrilling day for the Irish at the women’s world boxing championships in Qinhuangdao yesterday.
She outclassed Mavzuna Chorieva (Tajikistan) 16-6 for a place in today’s final.
She will meet Sofya Ochigava in this morning’s lightweight final at the aptly named Olympic Stadium, for the next time they touch gloves may be at the ExCel in London in August.
But there are promises to honour, ambitions to fulfil and old scores to settle in the meantime. Taylor has clashed with the Russian southpaw twice previously. The first time was three years ago when the Russian won and then, last year, Katie reversed that decision in the final of the European championships as she claimed her fifth title.
“From that point of view there is a lot at stake psychologically as well,” Taylor’s father and coach, Pete, said. “They are No 1 and No 2 in the world right now so this is going to be a great fight — I think it’s a 50/50 fight.
“It was important to perform at those world championships and now that they have both made the final, it means they will be kept apart in the Olympic draw and it also means they won’t enter the Olympic tournament until the quarter-finals.”
Taylor was totally dominant against the 19-year-old Asian champion yesterday, winning each round 5-1, 3-1, 3-2 and 5-2. The third was Colrieva’s best as she tried to draw Taylor in. But she had no answer in the fourth when Taylor nailed her with a left hook-right cross combination and the referee administered a standing count.
“The tactic was to keep my left hand really busy and it was the left hand that won me the fight there today. As she was coming on, I was catching her all the time,” Taylor said.
“I’m just delighted to be in another final now. The tactics will be different in the final. She is a tricky southpaw so I am going to have to be very clever in there again tomorrow. It is going to be such a tricky fight. I’ll see what my dad and Zaur (Antia) will say and hopefully I can execute the tactics again. Please God, I’ll be going to the Olympics as the current world champion. Chorieva was a tough opponent but Katie made her look very easy,” Pete Taylor said. “The girl was like a little Mike Tyson — we knew she would work from the counter all the time so we told Katie to get the points and get out again quickly and she did that perfectly.
“We always look at the opponent she is going to box, decide on the tactics and then try to get Katie, herself, to execute them. These things can change during the fight but lucky enough we got everything right today again. We knew the girl was explosive only if she stood with her.”
England’s Natasha Jonas put in a storming finish to tie the last round 6-6 against Sofya Ochigava but it was all too late and the Russian advanced to the final on the back of an 18-10 victory.
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