Katie Taylor boosts Olympic qualification hopes in Turkey

By Bernard O’Neill – IABA Press Officer

Katie Taylor returned to winning ways with a convincing victory over Bulgaria’s Svetlana Staneva in a third and fourth place box-off at the European Olympic qualifiers in Samsun, Turkey today.

The Bray lightweight took all four rounds to post a unanimous decision.

Today’s win won’t qualify for Rio 2016. Only the top two (the finalists) in each of their three Olympic weights classes qualify from Samsun.

Azerbaijan’s Yana Alekseevna, who beat Taylor in the last-four, and Italy’s Irma Tessa met in today’s final. Both women have qualified. Alexseevna beat Tessa for gold on a split decision after it went back to the judges following a majority draw.

Today’s win does boost Taylor’s Olympic chances ahead of the final womens qualifier, the World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan. Here a semi-final spot will guarantee a place in Brazil. However, if Alekseevna or Tessa reach the semi-finals in Astana, Taylor will qualify for Rio regardless as they would be mandated to avail of their World Championships qualifying spot and thus pass their European Olympic Qualifier spot down to Taylor.

Regardless of this Taylor will still obviously be aiming for an eye-watering sixth succesive World Championships gold in Kazakhstan.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]