Katie Taylor returned to the ring last night winning 40 – 36 over Bulgaria’s Denitsa Eliseeva. Eliseeva was the last fighter to defeat the European champion back in 2011.
The Olympic champion said afterwards, “That was the tactic, a fast start, win the first round,” revealed Taylor. “I knew I’d have to dig deep, but she’s a great warrior. So I’m happy to be through now to the quarter-finals.
“I hope so, yeah!” grinned Taylor. “I’ll be in trouble if I’m not improving, but again the first fight is always hard to get through, and it’s great to get the four rounds against such tough opponents,” she said.
Taylor faces Sweden’s Ida Lundblad in Wednesday’s bronze medal bout, taking place at 8.45am Irish time.
Earlier Michael O’Reilly produced a comfortable decision victory in the early session, defeating Montenegro’s Emir Sabotic on a unanimous 30 – 27 scoreline.
“Yeah, I felt very relaxed in there,” said O’Reilly. “Just doing my best to hit, and not get him.
“My next one is against the Slovenian,” added O’Reilly, who faces Ajaz Venko in the bronze medal bout. “He’s a fighter, so I’ll wait for the tactics from Billy Walsh, and see what he wants me to do.”
Light welter Dean Walsh won after split decision victory over Russian Maxim Dadashev, after suffering a standing count early in the first, but recovered superbly to win.
Darren O’Neill made it four from four in yesterday’s round of 16 bouts, defeating Latvian Raitis Sinkevics in the heavy weight division on a unanimous 29-28, 29-28, 30-27.
“Look, it’s fantastic, and we came here with a young team, bar myself and Adam Nolan, the two grandad’s, and I suppose Katie has been around for a while. So it’s a great to get this far on a major stage,” admitted the Irish captain.
In the cycling road race Conor Dunne’s held a top-eight position in the lead group for the majority of the 215.8km, before eventually finishing 45th.It was a great effort by the young rider having been in the leading group for much of the race.
Dunne, 23, was railed in by the peloton, having made brave early moves, clocking 5:33.56. Eddie Dunbar finished in 48th place in 5:42:49.
Sean Downey, Ryan Mullen, and Jack Wilson all failed to finish.
Natasha MacManus finished in 10th place having produced the second best dive of the day to qualify for the final of Women’s 3 metre springboard diving final.A superb day for Team Ireland in Baku.