We have live minute by minute commentary updates from Katie Taylor’s fight at the World Championships/ Olympic qualifier.
As we reported live earlier this morning, Katie Taylor won her fourth successive World crown when she overcame the challenge of Russia’s Sofya Ochigava in Qinhuangdao as the finals of the 7th AIBA World Championships drew to a close.
Katie herself later told the assembled media : “It’s amazing to win four world titles … it was such a tense fight, so close all the way through, a real game of patience and nerves,” she said. That is not surprising as both have a tremendous respect for one another nowadays as could be seen after the presentation ceremony.
“I just tried to concentrate. She was feinting constantly and I was feinting constantly. She’s a complete counterpuncher and it was always going to be difficult for her once she goes a few points down. I’m just glad I’m going home with a gold medal “, she told ‘The Irish Times’
Her win today means that Katie is now but one win away from winning a medal in London 2012 since both finalists receive a bye to the quarter final stage and cannot meet again before the final, always assuming they get there in the ever increasingly competitive world of women’s boxing at 60kg. Today’s bout was again (as in Rotterdam) extremely technical but even more so, with both boxers giving nothing away in the early rounds.
Before the fight, coach and Dad Peter, as indeed had Katie herself, forecast that it would be a very technical ‘battle royal’ for supremacy.
“She’s a great boxer, the Russian girl, and we knew it was going to be tactical, but thank God Katie held her nerve. This was not a fight for the armchair viewers, this was one for the connoisseurs,” he said.
“I’m just so glad to be going into the Olympics in the best shape I’ve ever been in,” a delighted Taylor revealed.
“Sofya is a fantastic boxer and she’s always been at the very, very top. We have a great rivalry going on. We’re great friends outside the ring but inside it’s different,” she went on.
Again today she repeated her call that the “Tripartite Commission Invitation places” be given to the very best competitors in all weight classes so tha tthe world can see in London just how good women’s boxing really is.
“Hopefully they make the right decisions when handing out those wildcards. We need to showcase women’s boxing,” she said.
She singled out Canada’s three-time AIBA World Champion Mary Spencer as someone who should receive such an invitation and in her own weight she repeated that Queen Underwood and Cheng Dong should be invited.
Among the early tributes to Taylor – back in Ireland – are ones from Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the President Michael D Higgins with many more to follow before the day is out. Enda Kenny said : “”This was another brilliant performance. She is an outstanding and true champion. She has made us all proud and lifted the heads of the Irish people”
Let us not forget though that this was truly a “team effort”. Katie has always tried to keep ‘ a step ahead’ of her opponents and has always carried our instructions to the letter but she is the first to acknowledge the huge part played by “Team Taylor” in her quest
for world and international crowns. Both Dad and Father, Peter and Georgia’s Zaur Antia play a tremendously important role in studying each opponent’s previous records with the aid of videos, and if necessary seeking input from other coaches.One or other watches almost every bout in a tournament. Nothing is left to chance and that ‘team effort’ plus the input from IABA’s Head Coach Billy Walsh has helped Taylor reach the top of her profession.
She has now won four World, five European and four European Union gold medals – all in-a-row – since 2005 and has never been beaten in a major international final.
Her AIBA World gold medals were claimed in New Delhi, India in 2006, Ningbo City, China in 2008, Bridgetown, Barbados in 2010 and Qinhuangdao, China in 2012.
And so to London 2012 and hopefully the greatest prize of them all …the one she has always dreamed of winning.
Final thoughts from the champion herself ? : “It was a tricky fight. it was just a game of patience and nerves in the end. Thank God for the victory. I’m delighted.”
She later told RTE : ““It was always going to be such a tricky fight, she’s absolutely brilliant that girl is.”
“But I just have to thank God again there for the victory. I’m delighted really to get the win.”
““In those kind of fights you don’t know what is going to happen. One or two points makes the difference you have to have so much concentration and discipline. These kind of fights prove how great women’s boxing is.”
When Katie arrives at Dublin Airport at 5.35pm (Irish time) Sunday evening, she will be meeting a new admirer for the first time .She can’t wait to get home to see her new niece, who was born whilst she was away.
Gold too in China today for England’s “silent assassin”, Hartlepool’s Savannah Marshall – England’s first ever gold in the Women’s World Championships.
All today’s results are here: http://126.96.36.199/results-daily.fwx?id_compet=85&day=19.05.2012&cat=&nat=&decision=&session=&name=&lang=
If you missed the fight or want to see it again you will be able to view it and all the Championship finals here (The Taylor bout is the fifth one) on this link: