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Review of AIBA Women's World championships
by Michael O'Neill
(additional reporting AIBA)
May 22, 2016

(MAY 22) Saturday sees day 3 of the 2016 AIBA women’s world championships (and final Olympic qualifier for women), at the Barys Arena in Astana with few shocks so far but still a long way to go.

Here on WBAN we brought you news of Team USA boxers and their fine wins so far so my updates will concentrate on the action relating to boxers from other countries as they continue their quest for a place in Rio 2016. Some news from the official Press Conference:

“The official draw for the 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships took place at the Rixos Hotel in Astana, Kazakhstan on Wednesday afternoon, following the official weigh-in earlier in the day. AIBA Competition Supervisor Mr Yue Yan confirmed that 285 boxers from 64 nations will take part in the eight-day competition, with the preliminary rounds getting underway on Thursday afternoon at the city’s famous Barys Arena”.

India’s five-time gold medallist Mary Kom began her quest for a record sixth title with a win over Sweden’s Juliana Soderstrom in an afternoon session, on day one, that also saw wins for Colombia’s Ingrit Valencia and Uzbekistan’s Dilnozakhon Odiljonova. The Uzbek will now be British Olympic champion Nicola Adams’ first opponent in the second round today.

In the evening’s hotly anticipated middleweight bouts, and with Rio 2016 quota places also available for the semi-finalists, defending World Champion Claressa Shields looked every bit the favourite to retain her title, the number-one seed powering past Germany’s Sarah Scheurich in a typically uncompromising display.

In a repeat of the Women’s World Championship final in Qinhuangdao four years ago, Great Britain’s Savannah Marshall faced Azerbaijan’s Elena Vystropova in the rivals’ first taste of Astana action. The taller Brit celebrated her 25th birthday in style, taking the contest by unanimous decision.

“I had a very strong opponent in the first round but this was not our first contest so her style was not a surprise for me today. I am satisfied and it feels good to get the first one out of the way,” said Savannah Marshall after her bout.

Today sees London 2012 Lightweight (60kg) Gold medallist make her first appearance of the 2016 event when she meets Swedish champion Agnes Alexiusson over 4 x 2 minutes rounds.

The duo last met in Kerry a year ago when the Bray woman had a reasonably comfortable win but the Swede has vastly improved since then and is looking forward to renewing hostilities with Taylor. She has had the benefit of a preliminary bout here when she overcame the strong challenge of Italy’s Irma Testa who has already qualified for Rio. What does Alexiusson think of her chances of dethroning Taylor today and of her win over the Italian?

“I am pretty satisfied with today’s performance against Irma Testa, a great opponent who has already qualified for the Olympic Games. I felt I lost the third round but came back stronger in the fourth, now I am excited to face Katie Taylor in the next round. I boxed her about a year ago but I have improved since then and I know nothing is impossible.”

As for Taylor herself, having lost to Yana Alekseevna in the European Confederation qualifiers is she confident of resuming her winning ways?

“I’m trying to look at the positives. I was very disappointed and at the time it was very hard to take,” she said of her defeat by the Azeri.

“It’s only when you suffer a loss you start analysing a few things. Obviously over the last few years I was winning. When you are winning you don’t look at the things you are doing wrong too much. But there are more fighters. Alekseevna is not the only one, she told ‘The Irish Times’

“It’s a bad idea to just focus on one opponent. I’m very aware that she’s not the only one who can cause problems or threats. There are so many in the 60kg division that are top-quality boxers and we’re going in prepared for every single one of them.

“I had to pick myself up,” says Taylor. “But it was a good time for it to happen and I’ve had losses before in the past and I’ve always come back strong. I’ve always learned from those.”

Now for some facts and figures:

Day 3 – schedule: Link

All the results so far: Link (courtesy Strefa Poland Boxing)

Day 2 – highlights: Link

More info: 

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