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Dublin: 19 °C Friday 23 August, 2019
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Familiar foe awaits Taylor in European final

Katie Taylor will fight for gold at the European Women’s Boxing Championships tomorrow after an impressive semi-final win this morning.

KATIE TAYLOR WILL have a chance to settle an old score when she goes in search of a fifth successive gold medal at the European Women’s Boxing Championships tomorrow.

The Bray fighter booked her place in the lightweight (60kg) final with an assured 25-11 win over the tricky Helena Falk in Rotterdam this morning.

Now the only person that stands between her and another European title is a familiar rival and one of the main contenders for Olympic gold next summer, Sofya Ochigava of Russia.

It was Ochigava who ended Taylor’s stunning 42-bout unbeaten run in controversial circumstances at the Usti na Labem Gran Prix in March of last year.

Taylor landed a host of scoring punches in the lightweight semi-final that day only to see the ringside judges — two of whom were reported to be from former Soviet Bloc countries — bizarrely award her opponent an 8-1 victory.

Speaking yesterday, Taylor’s coach, Peter, said that there could be no thoughts of revenge before his daughter’s place in the final had even been assured.

“There’s no way we’re looking beyond the semi-finals to a final with anyone. Katie is very proud of the fact that she is the World and European champion and she wants to keep it that way.”

But the confidence with which Taylor dispatched Falk this morning suggests that she’s in peak form ahead of tomorrow’s renewal.

Although the industrious Swede threatened with some rapid glancing combos, Taylor remained in control throughout, landing the cleaner shots before she eased off the gas in the final two-minute round.

“Katie gave a very good display today,” team manager Anna Moore said afterwards.

She went out to enjoy herself in the last round, but she didn’t leave anything for chance and she put in her punches as well.

Tomorrow’s finals are scheduled to start at 6pm Irish time.

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Niall Kelly

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