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Boxing; Adams, Taylor, Ren, Harrington & Ryan star on a hectic day in Astana
by Michael O'Neill
(additional reporting AIBA)
May 23, 2016

(MAY 23) Tuesday sees the quarter-finals of the 2016 AIBA Women’s Worlds in Astana as far as the 3 Olympic weights are concerned with these taking place at the Barys Arena in the evening session.

Earlier in the day, the quarter finals take place in the non-Olympic weights so a hectic day for all concerned in Kazakhstan.

One of the highlights promises to be the 75kg clash between Chinese favourite Li Qian and Hartlepool’s Savannah Marshall representing Great Britain. After a difficult season with injuries Marshall is now almost back to the form that gained her the World title in 2010.

Neighbouring Ireland have three boxers in the quarter finals with Grainne Walsh (69kg) and Kelly Harrington(64kg) in the opening session and Katie Taylor in the 60kg Olympic lightweight division in the evening against Mexico’s tough Victoria Torres.

Speaking later to ‘The Irish Times” Taylor said: “I just tried to what I was told for as long as I could. I just got clash of heads there in the last fight so my nose is a bit tender at the moment, other than that I’m delighted, thank god, with another victory.”

The Mexican “went to war” in that final stanza but was matched by Taylor who seems to have a new lease of life following defeat by Alekseevna in Samsun last month.

“That’s better when somebody comes for me,” she added. “I don’t have to think too much about it. It was definitely a tough battle. The fourth round, I had to dig deep in there. It’s great to be still here and have a chance to defend my title.”

Kelly Harrington too excelled in her bout against German champion, Cindy Rogge – the German tried her hardest but it was arguably the Dubliner’s best performance for some years and held on for a comfortable and richly deserved win. Talking to the ‘Irish Times’ Irish Head Coach Zuari Antia said : “Excellent performance,” said Antia.

“She has very big ability. She won two fights easy and once she believes in herself more she will win every fight. She is very good technically and very flexible. Today she has to enjoy. Then prepare.”

Harrington has been on the Irish international scene for many years now though still young but has been very unlucky insomuch as that 64kg is not an Olympic weight and Taylor has dominated the Lightweight division Worldwide for the last 10 years – as Antia said Kelly can reach the very top and in the writer’s view it is quite likely that 64kg will be included in Tokyo 2020 so she may yet have that opportunity at last to appear on the Olympic stage.

Antia’s praise for the Irish trio was echoed by Team Manager Anna Moore who commented: “Kelly and Katie were absolutely superb today and we’re delighted with their performances and wins. It’s going to be another big day tomorrow and the girls will be really up for it.

“This is the first time that we have three into the quarter-finals of the World Elite Women’s Championships and we could have had more if some decisions had gone our way. Irish women’s boxing is moving in the right direction.”

GB’s Sandy Ryan fears no one at 64kg either and defeated Russia’s Daria Abramova. She was very emotional after her win today and as she told ‘Boxing News’ John Dennen : “You can see how much it means to me. It’s put me in tears. But I stuck to the tactics, she’s beat me before the Baku Games. I stuck to the tactics, listened to the coaches and it worked,” Ryan said. “Every time I come up against a Russian, everyone’s saying, ‘Oh you’ve got a Russian’ and this time I didn’t let it get to my mind. I was like, I don’t care who I’ve got. They’ve got Great Britain. I’m going to win this.

“That’s why I’m so emotional because it meant a lot.”

In conclusion, with thanks to the AIBA their team in Astana filed this report on the main Monday’s bouts

“A strong Monday afternoon session at the 2016 AIBA Women’s World Championships for the North American teams, and an impressive performance by the Philippine’s 2012 World Champion Josie Gabuco , helped guarantee fourteen nations qualified at least one boxer to the last eight of the light flyweight, light welterweight and heavyweight competitions.

Photo:  Nicola Adams - courtesy AIBA

In the evening session, Olympic Champion Nicola Adams’ opening-round patience paid off as she comfortably negotiated her way through a tough encounter with the tall Azeri Anna Alimardanova. Adams grew in confidence as the bout went on, and the Olympic qualifier, eager to add the World title to her collection, will now face Chinese Taipei’s Yu-Ting Lin for a place in Thursday’s semi-final.

Ren Cancan summoned all her experience to defeat Russian second seed Elena Saveleva, and China’s triple World Champion will meet Sarah Ourahmoune of France in the quarters. After defeating five-time World Champion MC Mary Kom, German Azize Nimani continued her brilliant run in Astana against Italy’s European champion Marzia Davide.

“I cannot believe I am in the last eight of the World Championships but I know my most important contest is still coming tomorrow. I am satisfied with my performance against the strong Italian and I will be fighting for my dream tomorrow,” said a delighted Azize Nimani after her win.

Katie Taylor with Irish Head Coach Zuari Antia  photo: iaba.ie

With a record sixth World title and a place at Rio 2016 on her mind, Katie Taylor landed some powerful early blows to impose herself on Argentina’s Dayana Sanchez. The South American could find little reply to the defending champion’s relentless attacks, and after Saturday’s tough opening bout, the unanimous points win will provide the perfect tonic for Taylor’s crucial Quarter-Final against Mexican revelation Victoria Torres.

Yana Alekseevna and New Zealand’s Alexis Pritchard both struggled to find their range in the first two rounds of their bout, but the Azeri landed the bigger punches in the third and fourth to earn a split decision and a Quarter-Final place against France’s Estelle Mossely. Russian World Light Welterweight Champion Anastasiia Beliakova proved too quick for Brazil’s Adriana Araujo and will meet Moroccan Hasnaa Lachgar in Tuesday’s quarter-final “.

Every bout in the tournament so far – courtesy Strefa Poland Boxing: Link

Tuesday’s program in Astana: Link

AIBA/Daily Motion Video Session 10a (courtesy AIBA) :  Link

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