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Michaela Walsh steps up world bid with win

By Bernard O'Neill

Michaela Walsh posted an emphatic last-32 victory at the eighth AIBA World Women's Elite Championships in Jeju, South Korea yesterday.

The Belfast bantamweight convincingly defeated Jamaica's Sarah Joy Rae over four two-minute rounds in a repeat of their Commonwealth Games meeting of last August, which Walsh also won.

Rae took two standing counts in the fourth round ahead of a unanimous decision being announced.

"Michaela boxed brilliantly and I thought the Jamaican girl should have taken standing counts in the second round," said Irish team manager Anna Moore.

Katie Taylor beat Dominica's Valerian Spicer on a unanimous decision.

Taylor, aiming for her fifth successive title in Jeju, recorded her 21st World Championship win in 22 outings in her sixth such tournament since 2005 at the expense of England-born Spicer.

It was her first World Championship victory under the AIBA 10-point scoring system, which has replaced computer scoring.

The Bray boxer rarely had to move out of second gear to earn her verdict against Spicer.

Moore said: "What can you say about Katie, Katie is Katie; her body shots were brilliant.

She added: "Both girls were outstanding."

Taylor will now meet Finland's Mira Potkonen, an opponent she has beaten twice, in the last 16 tomorrow, one win away from a potential rematch with Russia's Sofya Ochigava in Friday's quarter-finals.

Ochigava, whom Taylor beat in the 2012 World and Olympic finals, defeated England's Chantelle Cameron.

"She (Spicer) was defensive. It was a good win for Katie and she boxed well, her first fight. She is against the Finland girl, I don't think that will be a problem," said Ireland's Georgia-born coach Zuar Antia.

Claire Grace is slated to meet Turkish welter Guluzar Kara today, but it remains to be seen if the Kilkenny southpaw will pass a medical due to a cut.

Belfast Telegraph

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