(JUNE 4) Wednesday sees the
quarter-final stages of the 2014 Women’s Elite Championships in
downtown Bucharest, Romania and few surprises as yet from this
Group photo: England’s Team + Coaches
The Olympic Gold medallists from
London 2012 are both on the ‘Gold trail’ again on Wednesday with
Nicola Adams in action against Bulgaria’s Stoyka Petrova at 51kg
whilst in the 60kg Lightweight division Ireland’s Katie Taylor
gloves off against host nation newcomer, Lavinia-Ioana Mera.
Adams v Petrova should be a close bout between two fine
exponents of the noble art whilst the young Romanian, Mera is
eagerly looking forward to her clash with Taylor.
Speaking to ‘The Irish Times’, Mera (who spent much of her early
life in Mitchelstown, County Cork) had this to say:
“I feel honoured to box with her,” says Mera.
“In my eyes she is a great champion and she’s a brilliant girl
as well as a character and outside the ring a girl I really
admire. It will be a big pleasure for me to box against her
because I see the way she boxes and I appreciate her for what
Mera loved living in the Irish countryside and was a county
Junior champion in Cork. She returned to Romania at age 14 when
her parents moved back to set up their own business at home.
“Actually, I started boxing in Ireland,” she says. “I’m a county
champion in the juniors. I was in Mitchelstown in Cork, where my
parents lived. My father worked as a butcher and my mother
looked after the children. My brother is a citizen of Ireland.
He got residency and lives in Dublin, Dún Laoghaire. We have
quite a past in Ireland alright. When I was boxing there
everyone was telling me you should get up to box like Katie to
be like her.”
“The truth is she is the best,” says Mera. “That’s definite and
you can see it clearly from a distance. I cannot say that I am
better than her. No. Right now she is the best. But we’ll see.
I’ll box with her. I’ll give it my best and we’ll see afterwards
if she is still the best or not. Right now, though, she’s the
Also at 60kg, Russia’s Sofya Ochigava meets Germany’s Tasheena
Bugar and it would be a huge shock if the German were to defeat
Good Luck to young Lavinia-Ioana Mera on Wednesday afternoon
since Taylor treats each and every opponent with the same
respect she would give say Sofya Ochigava. The Romanian will
certainly learn much from her experience that will stand her in
good stead in future.
At 48kg, Russia’s Svetlana Gnevanova faces stiff opposition from
another Bulgarian, Steluta Duta and the winner of this bout may
well end up as champion of Europe come Saturday.
Ireland’s participation in these championship usually depends on
Taylor but not this year for one of the Irish team, 20 years old
Clare Grace from Callan, County Kilkenny is already through to
the semi-final at 69kg whilst two others have reached the
quarter finals Wednesday.
Ireland’s Michaela Walsh with Irish women’s Coach
Michaela Walsh from the Holy Family Golden Gloves club in
Belfast faces AIBA World no. 5 Elena Saveleva (Russia) having
defeated Ukraine’s champion Ivanna Krupenia 2:1 on a split
decision Tuesday. An excellent bout with the Irish woman who
celebrates her 21st birthday on Thursday one to watch for the
future. The Russian though remains favourite for the title. The
other Irish woman to progress Tuesday was Carrickmacross,County
Monaghan’s Joanne Lambe who earned a 3:0 decision over Croatia’s
Marija Petric. Ireland’s first loss of this tournament came when
Cavan’s Ceire Smith was on the losing end of a 2:1 split
decision against Nur Caskun from Turkey.
England’s Natasha Jonas is also through to the quarter final
stage having disposed of Switzerland’s Anais Kistler and now
gloves off against Italy’s Valentina Alberti. It would be a big
surprise if Jonas was to lose here.
Thursday is a rest day in Bucharest with semi-finals being
staged Friday and Finals on Saturday.
WBAN.com wishes best of luck to all of the boxers over the
remaining days of the competition and we will bring you all the
latest news in the days ahead.
Photo: Ireland’s Michaela Walsh with Irish women’s Coach Gerry
And in Group photo: England’s Team + Coaches
Small photo to the right: Lavinia-Ioana Mera of Romania who