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Thursday 8 December 2016

Taylor defeated by Mossely after Astana split decision

Ireland’s Katie Taylor. Photo: AIBA via Sportsfile
Ireland’s Katie Taylor. Photo: AIBA via Sportsfile

Olympic champion Katie Taylor has suffered a controversial defeat in the semi-final of the World championships in Astana.

She went down to French woman Estelle Mossely whom she had beaten in her three previous clashes at championship level.

Bidding for her sixth World final appearance the Bray lightweight was beaten on a split 2-1 decision. Disappointing as this decision was, it was all the more disconcerting as two of the ringside officials judged the contest a draw (38-38 each).

The two judges from Argentina and Kazakhstan respectively then gave the nod to the France girl who lost to Taylor in the final of the European Games in Baku last summer.

But the frustrating bit for the Irish camp was that the third judge from Vietnam gave all four rounds to Taylor giving her the fight on a comfortable 40-36 margin but it didn't impact on the final outcome.

JUDGING

Such are the vagaries of the judging process in boxing. At last year's European Games in Baku Taylor got the lucky break when all three officials scored her contest against Yana Alekseevna 38-38 but two of the officials gave the nod to Taylor.

Leaving the curious scoring aside, what will worry Taylor is that this is her second defeat this year - she previously lost to Alekseevna at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Turkey.

Prior to that defeat Taylor had gone undefeated since 2011.

Regardless of the loss Taylor will defend her Olympic title in Rio next August but her aura of invincibility has now disappeared.

It was obvious from the first bell that Mossely was not intimidated in the slightest as the prospect of taking on the Irish lightweight despite her previous losses against her.

Using her long reach she kept Taylor at distance though the Olympic champion did score with her left hook and did enough to get the nod from the three judges.

In round 2 Taylor appeared to build on that decent start scoring again with her left but two of the judges saw it differently give Mossely the round.

Ironically, even though she looked to be visibly tiring in round 3 Taylor got the verdict on all three judges' card s who were obviously impressed with the number of punches she got away from close range.

CARD

So at the end of round 3 Taylor was three points ahead on one judge's card and one ahead on the other two which left her within touching distance of a sixth successive final appearance.

In the final two minute stanza Taylor mostly stayed out of trouble but she looked to have done enough to sneak the round in what was admittedly a very close contest. But the two judges who had given Mossely the round favoured her again which ultimately set her up for a 2:1 win and a place in the final.

Taylor comes home with a bronze medal after enduring her first defeat since her inaugural appearance at the World championships in 2005.

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