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Taylor secures a fifth world crown
24 Nov 2014 19:07
Katie Taylor has won a record-equalling fifth consecutive world title at the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Jeju, South Korea.
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The Bray woman secured the gold once more with a victory over Azerbaijan’s Yana Allekseevana in the lightweight final early on Monday morning.
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Taylor was aggressive from the opening bell but her taller, southpaw opponent countered well in the first round.
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Two of the three judges had Taylor ahead 10-9, with the other giving it 10-9 to her rival.
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Taylor cranked up the pressure in the second round, landing a crunching right hook on Allekseevna and winning the round on all three cards.
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Allekseevna showed more in the third, but Taylor landed a series of combinations to get the verdict from two of the judges once more and take a 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 lead heading into the final round.
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The Azerbaijani looked tired but was forced to go on the offensive in search of a stoppage.
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She wasn't able to hurt Taylor however, and the Irish woman counter-attacked ruthlessly to seal an assured victory on a 40-36, 39-37, 39-37 scoreline.
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Taylor's stunning achievement brings the 2012 Olympic champion level with Indian great Mary Kom on five world crowns.
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The 28-year-old has also won six European and five EU titles for a total of 17 major titles.
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"I'm absolutely delighted," she said afterwards. "It was such a tight contest. Every round was very close and very tricky.
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"The tactics from my Dad and Zaur (Antia) were spot-on and I had to execute the game plan so well.
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"It was very tight but it's an absolute privilege to equal Mary Kom's record, she's a hero of the sport.
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"I thank God for another great victory. I know everyone at home was praying for me as well and that was so encouraging and reassuring."
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Taylor immediately vowed to try and claim a sixth world title and second Olympic medal in 2016.
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"Every championship is so hard to win and to defend," she said. "I know how hard it is to win one world title so to keep defending it is a huge challenge.
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"I'm going to try to defend my Olympic title now and try to make history again."
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President Michael D Higgins led the praise for the five-time champion.
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"All of us are so proud of her," he said in a statement.
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"I offer sincere congratulations to Katie and indeed her family on this outstanding win, where she again showed such remarkable skill, determination and courage at the very highest level.
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"Katie Taylor is without doubt the outstanding Irish sportswoman of her generation and has set a standard for all Irish sports people to follow in decades ahead."
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