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Estelle Mossely shocks Sofya Ochigava in Bucharest as Katie Taylor reaches sixth European final in a row
by Michael O'Neill
June 6,  2014
Photo:  Mossely


(JUNE 6) For the second day running a ‘major shock’ at the 2014 Ninth Edition of the EUBC Women’s European Championships at the Polyvalent Hall in Bucharest – this time, somewhat unexpectedly, it came in the women’s 60kg lightweight semi-final where Russia’s Olympic Silver medallist Sofya Ochigava lost 0-3 on the judges’ scorecards against French champion Estelle Mossely.

It had been more or less taken for granted that we would see a repeat of the 2012 Olympic Gold medal final between Ochigava and Ireland’s Katie Taylor but Mossely took the initiative from the outset and never gave Ochigava an opportunity to come back. In truth it did not look like the Ochigava of old and she had two warnings in the final round.

The judges, from Serbia, the Czech Republic and Germany all scored it 38:36 in favour of Mossely.

Minutes earlier, Katie Taylor had qualified for tomorrow’s final defeating long time Bulgarian rival Denitsa Eliseeva as convincingly as the 3:0 (40:36 40:36 40:36) score suggests.

“It was a very tough fight,” told the ‘Irish Times’ later. “We knew that it was going to be like that. I was prepared for a tough fight but it’s fantastic that I’m in the final again. I have a chance now to defend my European title.

“She was definitely a lot more aggressive today. She’s also very physically strong so it was always going to be a real physical battle in there today.”

Taylor’s team mate, Clare Grace lost at 69kg against the 32 years old Stacey Copeland from the Bredbury Stockport club in Manchester. The 20 years old Grace fought gamely but experience told in the end: “I didn’t really know too much about her going in,” said Dublin City University student Grace afterwards. “It was a really tough contest. No room for error. I’m very disappointed. I was going for gold but also happy to have gotten this far.”

Copeland is a former England U21 footballer and a regular member of the Doncaster Belles team until she retired due to “wear and tear”. Stacey only took up boxing at age 30 and is not a member of the GB Olympic squad having stepped in to replace Savannah Marshall who had not fully recovered from recent shoulder surgery.

Stacey comes from a vastly experienced boxing family since her Dad, Eddie won the English ABAE title some 32 years before Stacey won hers thus making them the first Father and Daughter to win ABAE titles. Tomorrow she is up against the vastly more experienced Olympic medallist from Azerbaijan, Elena Vystropova.

In other semi-final bouts the ‘battle royal’ between Russia’s Anastasia Beliakova and Poland’s Kinga Siwa (64kg) ended in a win for Russia 3:0. Indeed many now suggest that 20 years old Beliakova may well succeed Ochigava as the Russian 60kg entry for Rio.

Only time will tell but it would be foolish in the extreme to ‘write off’ Ochigava after one ‘surprise’ defeat. Watch out though for Beliakova in the coming years.

Another English woman, Natasha Jonas from the Rotunda Club in Liverpool (normally at 60kg for Team GB) was entered here at 64kg and reached Saturday ’s final by virtue of a TKO2 decision over young Romanian hope Simona Sitar. Host Nation’s Steluta Duta qualified for the 48kg final convincingly disposing of Germany’s Anne Marie Stark on Saturday and now meets Bulgaria’s Sevda Asenova who overcame Turkey’s Ayse Gagrir 3:0 today.

So Saturday’s 60kg final will see Ireland’s Katie Taylor in search of a 6th successive European title albeit against Mossely rather than Ochigava. Join us tomorrow to find out if Taylor achieves yet Gold or if the young French woman can shock her as she did Ochigava today.

Sunday’s Finals programme is here: http://www.eubcboxing.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/C58E15.CP_.pdf 

Saturday’s semi-final results: Morning session:http://www.eubcboxing.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/C74E13.CP-5.pdf 

Finally, you can watch the finals via Live Streaming from Bucharest on Saturday. Finals commence 2pm CET (Bucharest) time.




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