Katie Taylor insists she will "come again" after suffering a convincing defeat to Azerbaijan's Yana Alekseevna at the semi-finals of the of the European Olympic qualifiers.

Olympic champion Taylor will have another chance to qualify to defend her 60kg lightweight title in Rio, but she will have to improve if she's to retain her gold medal in Brazil after going down 39-37 on all three judges' cards.

Progressing to the semi-finals at May's Women’s World Boxing championships in Astana would still be enough for Taylor to claim an Olympic spot, but for now Taylor and her camp will be focused on analysing what went wrong against an opponent who has troubled her before.

"I'm obviously very disappointed," she said afterwards. "I always go to these competitions with the aim of bringing back a gold medal.

"The loss came at the wrong time for me today but she's a fantastic boxer and you can't take it away from her. She deserved it today but I'll come again.

"The last couple of times we've boxed it's been a very close contest. There's very little between the two of us really and the difference between winning and losing is marginal. I don't know what went wrong today, it was just one of those days.

"I'll just go home, take a couple of days off and then get back into training and prepare for the World Championships.

"Thank God I have another chance to go and qualify and I'm going to do everything I can do to book my place in Rio."

The Bray woman got off to an aggressive start, charging out of her corner and dominating the centre of the ring as she landed with a quick flurry in the opening minute of the first round.

The referee stopped the fight to have Alekseevna’s gloves tightened and the Azerbaijan fighter started to find her rhythm, hitting Taylor on the counter.

Concern flashed on the face of Taylor after a big exchange between both fighters with Alekseevna landing the cleaner punchers and she ended the round the stronger, taking it on all three judges scorecards.

Taylor came out slightly more relaxed in the second round, welcoming Alekseevna onto her as she started to catch the Azerbaijan fighter on the counter.

A couple of strong lefts from Taylor rocked her rival but Alekseevna was more economical with her punches, picking her spots and crucially landing cleaner shots, and while two of the three judges gave the round to Taylor, that was as good as it was to get for her.

The third round was a low-key affair with both fighters dancing around each other and throwing fewer punches but again Alekseevna was connecting with more shots, particularly to the body, and all three judges duly awarded her the round.

Trailing on all three scorecards, Taylor knew it would take something special to swing the match in her favour. 

Chasing the fight, Ireland's gold medalist went more on the front foot, looking for something spectacular and while she landed several impressive shots, Alekseevna was content to stay out of trouble and made herself very difficult to catch.

Taylor raised her hand in hope more than expectation as the final bell sounded and there was little doubt that the right women won as all three judges scored the bout in favour of Alekseevna, handing Taylor her first defeat in five years.

You can watch the full fight below (Island of Ireland only)

European Boxing Olympic Qualifiers: Taylor v Alekseevna