Katie Taylor progressed to the last 16 of the AIBA World Women’s Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Astana, Kazakhstan today after chalking up a unanimous decision over Agnes Alexiusson.
The Bray woman will now meet Argentina’s Dayana Sanchez of Argentina on Monday after posting a 40-36,40-36,39-37 verdict over the durable Swede.
“Yes, I’m happy. I’m okay. It was good to get the first one out of the way, it always is,” Taylor told the Irish Times after her impressive victory.
Taylor ended up with a bloody nose after an accidental clash of heads with the ex World Youth champion – who Taylor beat in her hometown of Bray last year.
But that was the only concern on a day when the Wicklow orthodox more or less dictated the terms of engagement in all four rounds, answering Alexiusson’s forays with three, four and at times five-punch combinations.
The pick of her shots was a superb left hook with wobbled the Swede in the final frame.
The top four women in the lightweight class in Astana qualify for Rio. Taylor is also aiming to become the only woman in the history of the sport to claim six successive World Elite titles.
Alexiusson was always going to be a tricky start, but Taylor met the challenge full on this afternoon to once again remind her rivals that she’s still the one to beat if they want to call themselves an AIBA World lightweight champion.
Earlier today, Donna Barr lost on her World Elite debut to Canada’s Kim Klavel.
The Donegal light-fly appeared to have curbed Klavel’s enthusiasm in the first round with some well-timed counters off both hands.
But Klavel edged the frame 10-9 across the board and forced the Irishwoman into standing counts off two big rights in the second and third before taking fourth on all cards to seal a comprehensive victory.
Grainne Walsh IS in last 16 action tomorrow in Astana. Click here for Sunday program. Astan is five hours ahead of Ireland.
AIBA World Women’s Championships Astana, Kazakhstan
May 19th (Last 64)
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) lost to Ingrit Valencia (Colombia) 0-2
May 20th (Last 32)
54kg Dervla Duffy (Ireland) lost to Diletta Cipallane (Italy) 0-3
57kg Moira McElligot (Ireland) lost to Sati Burcu (Turkey) 1-2
64kg Kelly Harrington (Ireland) beat Austeja Auciute (Lithuania) 3-0
75kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) lost to Khadija Mardi (Morocco) 0-3
May 21st (Last 32)
48kg Donna Barr (Ireland) lost to Kim Klavel (Canada) 0-3
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Agnes Alexiusson (Sweden) 3-0
May 22nd (Last 16)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) v Hanna Solecka (Poland)
May 23 (last 16)
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Dayana Sanchez (Argentina)
64kg Kelly Harrington (Ireland) v Cindy Rogge (Germany)
48kg Donna Barr (Twin Towns)
51kg Ceire Smith (Cavan)
54kg Dervla Duffy (Mulhuddart)
57kg Moira McElligot (St Michael’s Athy)
60kg Katie Taylor (Bray)
64kg Kelly Harrington (Glasnevin)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Sparticus)
75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s)
Team manager: Anna Moore
Coaches: Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger, Gerry Storey, Pat McDonagh