Just like she did in Ningbo two years ago, Taylor dominated her opponent from start to finish, to win her third AIBA Championships gold in Barbados.
The Bray boxer brought her aggregate tally for the tournament to 84 points scored and 29 conceded when she won 18-5 over four rounds at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex in Bridgetown. She recieved her award from AIBA Presient Ching-Kuo Wu.
It was her third win over Dong, having beaten her 13-2 in 2008 and 10-2 at a multi-nations event in St Petersburg last year, on her way to beating Natalie Bondareva in the final.
The four-time European champion and 2008 Boxer of theYear could have been forgiven for being a little hesitant after her war of attrition with Queen Underwood in the semi-final last night, but she asserted herself from the first bell and thoroughly outboxed her fellow finalist.
Dong, who stands at 6ft as opposed to Taylor’s 5ft 5in, beat Poland’s Karolina Graczyk 12-3 in the other last four duel last night, but the 24-year-old Irishwoman made light of the size difference with unerringly accurate counter-punching.
She landed a left hook early on to register the first score but conceded two points as she sized up Dong’s reach before adding another three for a lead of two at the break.
Taylor added six more points in the second round, first with on overhand right and then a trademark left-hook. As Dong pressed, she repeatedly stayed out of trouble and was dangerous on the back foot while avoiding blows.
She consolidated in the third, winning it 3-1 and rocking Dong with another ferocious left before showing expert footwork to stay out of trouble.
Two quickfire lefts opened the final round. Dong was shaken again with the second, a brilliant counter-strike as her opponent grew more desperate for a knockout blow and, though Taylor got clipped twice, she calmly tagged on three more blows to see her safely to the bell.
She greeted it by falling to her knees in the centre of the ring – having secured yet another title and near legendary status within the sport at home and abroad – before sharing an emotional embrace with her father and coach Peter.
Taylor’s success has already been welcomed by Pat Hickey and the Olympic Council of Ireland who congratulated her on an “outstanding achievement”