EIGHTEENTH MAJOR GOLD for Taylor in Baku

Bray’s Katie Taylor was at her imperious best this afternoon to win her lightweight final against Frenchwoman Estelle Mossely at the inaugural European Games. The gold was Ireland’s first of the multi-sport Games, as well as being an incredible EIGHTEENTH major international gold medal for Taylor.

The judges were unanimous in their decision to award the fight to Taylor, who put on a boxing clinic in Baku’s Crystal Hall. The final scorecards read 40-36, 40-36 and 39-36 for the Bray BC fighter.

Before the tournament Mossely had said of Taylor – “I know her and I have studied her on film, I can beat her” – but the 22 year old was simple outclassed by the dominant Irishwoman.

The opening round was a tight affair with Mossely jabbing for range while Taylor tried to get inside and overpower her opponent. The judges were split, with two opting for Taylor, and one giving the round to the French youngster.

Taylor, who had beaten Mossely twice previously, stepped it up a gear in the second and forced Mossely to trade – and duly won the round on all cards

The third was Taylor’s best round of the fight, scoring countless combinations and avoiding most of what Mossely threw at her, further stretching her lead. In the last Mossely came flying out of the blocks but Taylor was able to negate most of her attacks, while scoring with cleaner blows herself.

The result was never really in doubt for Taylor who celebrates her 29th birthday next week – and becoming the first European Games champion at her weight is the perfect present for Ireland’s golden girl.

For now, Taylor will enjoy her win in Baku, but the consummate professional will soon set her sights on the National Seniors this Winter – so she can ensure her place in Kazakhstan for the World Championships next February. These Championships serve as the first qualifier for the Rio 2016 Olympics, where Taylor will be aiming to defend her crown.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie