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18th Nov 2014

Victorious Katie Taylor ‘gets ball rolling’ at Women’s Boxing World Championships

The Olympic champion was in imperious form

Patrick McCarry

Katie Taylor recorded a comfortable Last 32 victory over her Dominican opponent at the 2014 Women’s World Boxing Championship in Jeju.

The Olympic champion, who is aiming for her fifth consecutive lightweight title, easily outclassed Kezial Valerian over four rounds. Taylor received a first round bye and took her time to settle into today’s bout before gaining the upper hand in rounds two and three.

‘It’s great to get the ball rolling,’ Taylor told The Irish Times after her victory. ‘The performance from the whole team has been brilliant so far. It’s been a great few days so far. It’s always kind of tricky getting the first one over and done with. It has been a long wait and it was good to get the lungs open again and get set up and get a good four rounds in.’

Taylor and Valerian each landed telling blows in the opening round but the Dominican was grappling and slowing the pace by the next round. Taylor connected with a few shots to the midriff and repeatedly used slick footwork to avoid her opponent’s long jab.

The third round began with a flurry of punches from both parties before Valerian tagged Taylor on the forehead. The Bray native was far from flustered following the exchange and took a few scoring points back to her corner ahead of the final round. Taylor looked to land a couple of big hits in the closing minute before contenting herself with staying out of trouble and picking up a couple of easy connects to claim the round.

Taylor fights in the Last 16 in the early hours of Thursday morning (Irish time). Also in action is Michaela Walsh, who face Anna Alimardanova from Azerbaijan in her third round bantamweight bout.