European Women Boxing : Katie Taylor and Clare Grace Through To Friday’s Semi-Finals

As expected Katie Taylor went through to Friday’s semi-final but both Michaela Walsh and Joanne Lambe went out despite fine individual performances against leading world ranked boxers from Russia and Bulgaria .


Biggest shock of the day, indeed of the year so far in the women’s ranks, was the defeat of England’s London 2012 Gold Medallist Nicola Adams who lost 3:0 to another Bulgarian, Stoyka Petrova.  Adams had won their previous five contests and was odds on favourite for the title again.


The lightweight division proceeded as expected with Olympic Gold medallist Katie Taylor gaining a TKO4 decision over the young Romanian challenger Ioana Mera. The Romanian was disappointed not to have lasted the distance but Taylor was in no mood to ‘take it easy’ against her opponent.. Coach and Dad Peter together with Zuar Antia had obviously done their homework as she was in complete control from the opening bell.


She later told ‘The Irish Times’ that ‘The tactics have always been spot on and goes for all the (Irish) girls this week,” said Taylor modestly. “She was a very young boxer and I think she is very, very inexperienced. I think she showed a lot of heart in there as well.”


It was good to see after the final bell tolled that coaches Taylor and Antia spent some moments ‘hugging’ the young Romanian as indeed did Katie whose words of encouragement ringside will have helped Mera overcome her initial disappointment that she had not lasted all four rounds. Mera will be wiser and more experienced when next they meet. Mera had spent her earlier years in Ireland before the family returned home and is a long-time admirer of the Irish champion.


Later on Facebook Ioana thanked all of her army of supporters for their ‘commiserations’ and said of Taylor : “It was a hard match, she truly is a golden girl !!”


Next up for Taylor , who yesterday gained her 21st consecutive European Championships win, is her old adversary Denitsa Eliseeva from Bulgaria.


Also through to the semi-finals is Clare Grace, the 20 years old from Callan, who has had rest days yesterday and today and now meets England’s much more experienced, 32 years old Stacey Copeland for a place in Saturday’s final. SportsNewsIreland wishes the best of luck to both Taylor and Grace tomorrow.


Russia’s AIBA World no.4 Sofya Ochigava also won – against Germany’s Tasheena Bugar as convincingly as the 40:36 40:36 39:37 judges’ scorecards indicate. Few would bet against a repeat of the 2012 World Championships and Olympic Finals again this year. Ochigava meets Estelle Mossely of France in Friday’s second semi-final and would be expected to win through to yet another final against her ‘friend and foe’ from Bray.


Another Russian who went through (at 54kg) was AIBA World No 5, Elena Saveleva who met fierce resistance from Ireland’s Michaela Walsh, 21 years old today, but Saveleva won through 2:0 with the French judge calling it 38:38. Walsh told ‘The Irish Times’ later: “I knew it was going to be a tough fight. She was a European champion and she was at the Olympics,” said the Belfast challenger.


“I got so close just to get beaten before the medal stages was a pity. I wished my opponent the best of luck. Hopefully she can go on and get the gold. I’ll be back and I’ll be stronger.”


Also out is Ireland’s 57kg representative Joanne Lambe from Carrickmacross who fought a gallant fight against world no.4 Svetlana Staneva Kamenova (Bulgaria).


No complaints either from Lambe about the unanimous decision for her opponent – she simply said : “Tough fight, a very technical fight today. A lot more patience was involved. I went out in the last two rounds and I had to give it everything. I did my best.”


Championships results to date are here courtesy of that excellent Polish boxing website Strefa :




For Friday’s Semi-Finals line-up see here:



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