Team Ireland experienced mixed fortunes at the AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships in Jeju, South Korea today, with European Elite bronze medallist Claire Grace advancing but Joanne Lambe bowing out.
Grace, who boxes out of the Callan BC in Kilkenny, was involved in a tough battle with Romanian welter Cristina Stanca before having her hand raised in victory on a unanimous decision.
Grace’s mobility and ability to find the target in combinations ultimately beat her durable opponent. The ringside doctor examined a cut over Grace’s left eye two times in the final round of today’s encounter but gave the bout the green light on both occasions and the World No. 10 finished out the four-rounder as she had started it, on the front foot and moving forward into the last 16.
Lambe lost to Qiong Lu of China. The Monaghan featherweight connected with two solid rights in the opening exchanges and worked well behind her jab for most of the four rounds, although she took a standing count after an exchange in the second, a round which Lambe probably won.
The Irish champion continued to press forward in the third. A close frame; Lambe firing home backhands, Lu replying with rights over the top. That pattern more or less replicated itself in the fourth, but it was Lu that progressed on a unanimous decision after a close 57kg contest.
Olympic champion Katie Taylor begins her title defence tomorrow against Valerian Spicer of Dominica, while Michaela Walsh is in against Jamaica’s Sarah Joy Rae.
AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships Jeju, Korea November 16/24
November 17th (last 32)
57kg Joanne Lambe (Ireland) lost to Qiong Lu (China) 0-3
69kg Claire Grace (Ireland) beat Cristina Stanca (Romania) 3-0
November 18th (last 32)
54kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) v Sarah Joy Rae (Jamaica) (Afternoon)
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Kezial Valerian Spicer (Dominica) (Evening)
November 19th (last 16)
69kg Claire Grace (Ireland) v Guluzar Kara (Turkey) (Evening)
(Afternoon and evening sessions begin at 5am and 10am each morning (Irish times)
54kg Michaela Walsh (Holy Family)
57kg Joanna Lambe (Carrickmacross)
60kg Katie Taylor (Bray)
69kg Claire Grace (Callan)
Team manager Anna Moore
Coaches Pete Taylor, Zuare Antia, Gerry Storey