Katie Taylor will meet Russia’s Sofya Ochigava in a repeat of the 2012 Olympic lightweight final in the quarter-finals of the AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships in Jeju, South Korea tomorrow.
Both lightweights claimed victories this morning against Finland’s Mira Potkonen and Brazil’s Araujo dos Santos, who asked some serious questions of the Russia southpaw in a see-saw four-rounder.
Belfast bantamweight Michaela Walsh can consider herself unlucky to go out of the tournament this morning to Azerbaijan’s Anna Alimardanova on a majority decision (39-37,38-38,39-37).
The defining moment of a tight 54kg duel arrived in the fourth frame when the Azeri southpaw hit the floor from a right hook from Walsh, but it was ruled a slip.
Pokonen, who turned 34 last Monday and who lost twice to 28-year-old Taylor last year, once again proved to be a durable opponent against the Wicklow orthodox this morning, but the Bray woman’s shot selection to the head and body were superior throughout the four-rounder, particularly in the third frame.
Taylor, who won today’s fight on a unanimous decision (40-36,40-36,39-37), is aiming for her 5th successive title in Jeju.
Irish team manager Anna Moore said they were delighted to see Taylor through and that she felt that it was wrong – in relation to Taylor and Ochigava, who are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the world, meeting in the last-eight – that there was no seeding at the tournament.
Moore added that she believed that Walsh had did enough to win her fight.
AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships Jeju, Korea November 16/24
November 17th (last 32)
57kg Joanne Lambe (Ireland) lost to Qiong Lu (China) 0-3
69kg Claire Grace (Ireland) beat Cristina Stanca (Romania) 3-0
November 18th (last 32)
54kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Sarah Joy Rae (Jamaica) 3-0
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Kezial Valerian Spicer (Dominica) 3-0
November 19th (last 16)
69kg Claire Grace (Ireland) lost to Guluzar Kara (Turkey) W/O
(Grace withdraws because of injury sustained in the last 32))
November 20th (last 16)
54kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) lost to Anna Alimardanova (Azerbaijan) 0-2
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Mira Potkonen (Finland) 3-0
November 21st (Q/Finals)
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Sofya Ochigava (Russia) (Afternoon)
(Afternoon and evening sessions begin at 5am and 10am each morning (Irish times)
54kg Michaela Walsh (Holy Family)
57kg Joanna Lambe (Carrickmacross)
60kg Katie Taylor (Bray)
69kg Claire Grace (Callan)
Team manager Anna Moore
Coaches Pete Taylor, Zuare Antia, Gerry Storey