Olympics boxing: Katie Taylor wins Ireland's first gold medal

Ireland's boxing sensation Katie Taylor won her country's first gold medal of London 2012 by beating Sofya Ochigava.

The 26-year-old lightweight, who is considered a national hero in Ireland  after winning four world and five European titles, beat the Russian 10-8.

Taylor, who was Ireland's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony, was behind after two rounds but dominated the rest of the fight to take the Olympic title.

Ochigava had no answer to Taylor's fast footwork and explosive punching power.

Analysis

"Complete and utter delirium at ExCeL as Katie Taylor pulls the last two rounds out of the bag to win the lightweight crown. I've been to Rugby World Cup finals, I've been to Wimbledon finals, I've seen Great Britain win three gold medals in 45 minutes at the Olympic Stadium - but I have never heard a noise like that."

"It's what I've always dreamed of," said Taylor. "I've envisaged this moment so many times before but it's better than all my wildest dreams to be sitting here as Olympic champion as well as world and European champion."

Taylor was up against a familiar foe, having beaten Ochigava to the world title in China in May, but she took time to warm to the task - starting tentatively in the opening round.

Counter-puncher Ochigava was content to try and pick off Taylor, who has not been beaten in major competition in six years, with her dangerous left hook.

The Russian's plan looked to be working when she took a slender one-point advantage following the second round.

However, Taylor's champion pedigree came to the fore in a stunning third round exhibition of boxing which proved decisive.

She delighted her hordes of travelling supporters with some majestic footwork, while raining down some heavy blows on her dazzled opponent.

That gave Taylor a two-point lead heading into the final round, when she used her nous to stay out of trouble while still piercing Ochigava's defence.

London 2012 officials declared the roar of the crowd at Taylor's first bout as louder than a jumbo jet taking off, and that 113.7 decibel reading must surely have been smashed when Taylor took victory - underlining her status as one of Ireland's greatest ever athletes.

Taylor will now consider her future as she ponders whether to leave the amateur ranks in order to turn professional.

"I have no intention to stop boxing," she said. "I'm definitely going to continue, but I don't know whether I'll turn professional or stay amateur.

"I'll have to sit down and talk about it and we'll make the decision in the next few weeks."

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