By Tadhg Peavoy
Katie Taylor has won the gold medal at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Barbados, with an 18-5 victory over China’s Cheng Dong in the 60kg final.
The victory is Taylor's third successive gold medal in the event, following previous triumphs in 2006 and 2008.
The first round in Barbados was a tight affair which Taylor edged 4-2, with both fighters showing plenty of verve and most definitely no fatigue following four previous fights to reach the final stage of the competition.
Taylor went out to 8-2 ahead with a smooth second round, before a quick pair of points on the sound of the bell gave Taylor a 10-2 lead going into the third round. This was the also score at the same stage of Taylor’s semi-final bout, which she went on to win by only two points.
Taylor delivered an assured third round performance to extend her lead to 13-3. The highlight of the round being a massive left hook which nearly flattened her Chinese opponent.
Taylor was just too good throughout for Dong and pushed out to 18-5 in the fourth round with further destructive work from her left jab doing the damage.
As the bell went for a fourth and final time, signalling Taylor's third crowning as world champion, the Bray woman dropped to her knees and the small but vocal Irish crowd belted out 'Ole, ole, ole.'
President of Ireland Mary McAleese has commented on Taylor’s win, saying: 'I warmly congratulate Katie Taylor on her outstanding achievement in winning the Women's World Boxing Championship for the third successive time.
‘This is a remarkable sporting feat, of which we can all be immensely proud. All of Ireland was willing Katie on this evening and I join them in sending warmest best wishes to Katie.’