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Adams and Taylor On The Gold Trail Once More In Bucharest's European Elite Championships
by Michael O'Neill
June 4, 2014


(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 year’s Championships.

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 she is.”

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 best.”

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 Ochigava.

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 Gerry Storey

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 Storey

And in Group photo: England’s Team + Coaches

Small photo to the right: Lavinia-Ioana Mera of Romania who meets Taylor.

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