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Women's World Boxing - Barbados

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In the semi finals of the - AIBA World Women's Boxing Championships - which are being held in Barbados, China put four boxers through to the finals and Ireland's Kaite Taylor just scraped through to the finals.

 

AIBA Report: 17 September

China today qualified four boxers for the finals of the 6th AIBA Women's World Championships at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex in Bridgetown, Barbados. Katie Taylor and Queen Underwood thrilled the crowd with the bout of the tournament and the public had the first glimpse of AIBA's new women's boxing uniforms that will be phased in for international competitions.

 

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Queen Underwood narrowly missed out on the tournament's biggest upset today when her semi-final against Ireland's Katie Taylor ended 18:16. Undoubtedly the most thrilling bout of the tournament so far, the match saw Taylor take an early 6:0 lead at the end of the first round, extending to 10:2 at the end of the second. Underwood then came back from nowhere to bring the score to 17:8 at the end of the third. For the first time in the tournament, Taylor looked uncomfortable as Underwood inflicted some damage in the fourth round and the Irishwoman picked up two warnings, bringing the scores level at 15:15 in the closing minute. In a nail-biting finale that had the crowd on its feet Katie Taylor dug deep to edge ahead 18:16 at the closing bell.

"It definitely wasn't one of my best performances," said Taylor after the bout. "My first round was a great round, but she is very strong and very awkward and I found it very hard to counter her punches."

(photo: AIBA)

 

Sporting the new uniform of vest and skirt, Romania's Duta Steluta had opened the afternoon's action against Nazgul Boranbayeva with an emphatic 10:5 victory in the first light flyweight semi-final.

India's Mary Kom bagged the second final slot after beating Alice Appari from the Philippines in her semi-final bout today. Kom opened up in the third and fourth rounds after the scores had been tied until the end of the second. She admitted finding it difficult in the light flyweight category after competing for so long in the now defunct 46kg division.

"This is my first time competing at 48kg for a long time. My first time was at the World Championships in the USA [Scranton, 2001]. It's very difficult for me to gain weight. It was a tough bout but in the second round I started to work out her tactics and knew which punches to throw."

The flyweight semi-final bouts both started in a similar fashion, with none of the boxers giving anything away in the first two rounds. Reigning World Champion Ren Cancan from China scored the only point of the first two rounds against the Ukraine's Tatyana Kob. The Ukrainian even edged ahead at the end of the third, delivering a strong hook in the closing seconds of the round. But Ren came back with a vengeance in the final round and edged ahead to an 8:5 victory that puts her against Nicola Adams of England in the final.

Adams appeared to come alive in the second half of her semi-final against Finland's Hanne Maekinen, inflicting a standing eight count on her opponent in the fourth round. From that point it was just a question of maintaining the strong lead and she won out 11:4.

"I was working behind my jab, taking my time, finding my range and then opening up," said the 27-year old. "When it got to the back of the second and in the third and fourth I got my timing right and picked up the points. I'm looking forward to the final. Whoever I get to compete against I know they are going to be a good boxer, so I'm looking forward to showing what I can really do in the ring."

In the bantamweight contest, Russia's Elena Savelyeva defeated European Champion Karolina Michalczuk of Poland today to set up an encounter with Kim Hye Song from The People's Republic of Korea in the final. Kim overcame Hungary's Csilla Nemedi-Varga by a close 5:4 and is one of two North Korean boxers to make the finals.

Yang Yanzi from Ningbo, China had a close match against Tunisia's Rim Jouini, winning by a slender 3:2 margin in the featherweight contest. She will line up against North Korea's second contender in the finals, Yun Kum Ju, who edged ahead in the fourth round against Thailand's Tassamalee Thongjan after the scores were tied at 3:3 at the end of the third round. The final result was 9:4 in Yun's favor.

Poland's Karolina Graczyk was no match for Dong Cheng of China, who powered ahead to a 12:3 victory in the lightweight semi-finals. She will face Ireland's Katie Taylor in tomorrow's final.

Russia's Vera Slugina hammered her way to victory against Cashmere Jackson of the USA in the light welterweight contest. The 25-year-old inflicted three blows that stopped her opponent with mandatory eight counts and romped home 17:9 to face Gulsum Tatar in the final.

England's boxers trained with team USA in Miami before the tournament as part of their warm weather preparations. But tomorrow they will be opponents in the welterweight final. Headland ABC boxer Savannah Marshall will face Andrecia Wasson from Detroit, Michigan. Both enjoyed easy victories today, Wasson overpowering China's Yang Tingting to such an extent that Team China's physiotherapist could be seen gesticulating wildly with the towel towards Yang's corner. But coach and second remained unmoved and allowed the bout to run its course, ending on a 25:4 scoreline in Wasson's favor.

Reigning World Champion Li Jinzi from China underwent knee surgery six months ago, but there was little sign of this affecting her performance in Barbados. She came from behind in the third round of her contest against Hungary's Maria Kovacs and the scores remained level as the boxers traded punches evenly. The bout finished 11:11 at the end of the eight minutes and the individual scores were also tied, so the decision went to the judges, who voted in favor of Li. Her opponent in the final will be Canada's Mary Spencer, 2008 World Champion at 66kg, who eased past Liliya Durnyeva of the Ukraine to an 8:3 victory.

Brazil's Roseli Feitosa will be South America's only representative in the finals after she beat Hungary's Timea Nagy, who has moved up two weight categories this year, 14:6. She will face the 2010 Asian Champion, Marina Volnova from Kazakhstan, in the final.

The Ukraine's Kateryna Kuzhel is quickly building up her international experience and powered past the Asian Championship bronze medalist Kavita of India 14:2 at the Garfield Sobers Sport Complex today, setting herself up for a heavyweight final tomorrow against Russia's Nadezhada Torlopova, who beat China's Li Yunfei in a close 7:6 finale to the day's action.

A total of 13 countries will be represented in today's finals, with China and Russia leading the pack with four and three boxers respectively.

Source: AIBA

Photo: AIBA