Ireland’s Katie Taylor remains on course for a fourth AIBA World Championship title after claiming a convincing victoy over Tajikistan’s Mavzuna Choriyeva in her semi-final in China.
Taylor’s 16-6 victory guarantees her at least a silver medal after having already secured her place at the London Olympics with a walkover in the quarter-final.
The Irish fighter will now take on Russian Sofya Ochigava for the gold medal on Saturday morning and the final will be broadcast live on RTÉ One at 8am and online at www.rte.ie.
Taylor found her range almost immediately, setting up behind her left jab and forcing Choriyeva on the back foot. The Tajik fighter was trying to counterpunch from Taylor’s body shots but had little joy in the opening round.
Taylor finished with a flourish, landing a sweet one-two combination to the head and took the round convincingly, winning it 5-1.
The second round began as the first ended, with Taylor holding the centre of the ring and dictating the pace with her left jab.
Choriyeva was struggling to come up with any answers, unsure as to whether she should try to press the issue or catch Taylor on the counter, and the Irish women extended her lead to 8-2.
The third was Choriyeva’s best round, as she caught Taylor with a mean looking left that landed flush towards the end of the round but there was an air of desperation about it by now and she was physically wilting and trailing by 11-4.
Aware that only a stoppage would do at this stage, Choriyeva tried to goad Taylor into a brawl in the final round but again, Taylor was content to work behind her left jab. When the Tajik fighter did try to press the issue she was caught with a devastating combination and was forced to take a standing eight count.
Taylor was able to see the final 30 seconds of the fight out comfortably, again extending her lead and she ran out a 16-6 winner.
Afterwards, Taylor was quick to pay tribute to the corner team of her father Pete and assistant coach Zaur Anita.
“I’m delighted to be in another final and one step closer to retaining my world title,” the Bray woman told RTÉ Television.
“She was very strong and I kept her off with my jab. The tactics I got from my Dad and Zaur in the corner were spot on. I could not have done it without them.
“We have been getting well-wishes (from Ireland) all day yesterday and today after I qualified. The support has been incredible and I am so grateful for that.
“Hopefully I can make everyone proud at the Olympics and come back with a gold medal, but first I have to concentrate on my fight tomorrow and, hopefully, I will go into the Olympics as a current World Champion.”
Taylor is also taking nothing for granted in the final against Russia’s Ochigava. “It’s going to be a tough fight tomorrow against a really tricky southpaw in the final so I am going to have to be very clever in the ring,” she said.