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World Women's Championships
by Bernard O'Neill
September 18, 2010


(SEPT 18) Ireland's Katie Taylor and Queen Underwood of the USA lit up the 6th AIBA Women's World Championships in a thrilling 60Kg semi-final in Barbados last night.  Taylor emerged victorious 18-16 to book her ticket into today's (Saturday September 18th) final where she'll meet China's Cheng Dong in a repeat of the 2008 World Championships final which Taylor won 13-2 in Ningbo City, China.

The reigning champion, 24, who is aiming for her third AIBA World lightweight title in a row, appeared to be cruising to victory and was 10-1 up approaching the bell for the end of the second round in Bridgetown.

Showing tremendous hand speed the Bray woman was finding her target with power and precision and looked as if she was going to overwhelm the Seattle lightweight.

But, Underwood, who earned four of her points after Taylor received two public warnings for holding in the final two rounds, fought back heroically in the third and restored parity in the fourth and final frame.

However, Taylor showed the heart of a true champion to find the winning scores and claim an 18-16 verdict in the final few seconds of a bout which showcased just how far the female version of the noble art has evolved as a highly competitive international sport.

"It definitely wasn't one of my best performances. My first round was a great round, but she is very strong and very awkward and I found it very hard to counter her punches," Taylor told the AIBA website after the last four decider.

IABA Director of Boxing Dominic O'Rourke, who was at ringside for the clash, said that Taylor showed why she is a World champion going down the final stretch of a contender for bout of the tournament.

"Katie was brilliant in the first two rounds, but fair play to the American girl she had a great final two rounds and fought back very bravely. Katie showed tremendous character to win in the final half minute. It was a very exciting bout, edge of the seat stuff.

"Katie showed why she is World champion tonight. She has another big bout ahead of her again tomorrow. Saturday's final will be another tough one for Katie, one that we're all looking forward too."

Friday's win guarantees Taylor at least a silver medal from the 6th AIBA World Women's Championships.

Saturday's finals begin at 7pm (Irish time). It is estimated that Taylor and Dong will be in the ring between 8pm and 8.30pm this evening (Irish time).

6th AIBA World Women's Championships Results/Draw

September 10th
51Kg: Ceire Smith (Ireland) lost to Nilmini Jayasinghe (Sri Lanka) 1-14 (Last 64)
75Kg: Sinead Kavanagh (Ireland) v Wided Younsi (Tunisia) (Result annulled) (Last 32)

September 11th
60Kg: Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Neetu Chahal (India) 12-2 (Last 32)

September 13th
60Kg: Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Adriana Araujo (Brazil) 20-5 (Last 16)
64Kg: Allana Murphy (Ireland) lost to Gulsum Tatar (Turkey) 4-21 (Last 16)
75Kg: Sinead Kavanagh (Ireland) lost to Ll Jinzi (China) 3-9 (Last 16)

September 15th (Quarter -finals)
60Kg: Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Anastasia Belyakova (Russia) 16-1

September 17th (Semi-finals)
60Kg: Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Queen Underwood (USA) 18-16

September 18th (Final)
60Kg: Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Cheng Dong (China)

Irish squad 6th AIBA World Women's Championships Barbados September 6th/19th

Team Manager: Stephen Connolly
Director of Boxing: Dominic O'Rourke
Coaches: Peter Taylor & Zuar Antia
Referee&Judge: Fionna Hennigan
51Kg (Flyweight) Ceire Smith (Cavan BC)
60Kg (Lightweight) Katie Taylor (Bray BC)
64Kg (Light-welterweight) Allana Murphy (E. Belfast)
75Kg (Middleweight) Sinead Kavanagh (Drimnagh)

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