Taylor delights green hordes after overwhelming Jonas

Ireland's star fighter is too strong for home hopeful as for once GB fans are outshouted

ExCeL

The ExCel boxing complex had a Dublin post code. Along the concourse outside the arena, RTE presenter Marty Morissey, the Des Lynam of Irish TV, had no shortage of volunteers for this vox pop. The idea of packaging atmosphere as frenzy at these Olympics is not new. And dear old Marty did not have to work his shtick too hard to get the story. In their tri-colour wigs and leprechaun hats the great Irish diaspora had him circled, each wanting to proclaim their Irishness louder than the next. This was Katie Taylor day, and her debut as an Olympian would not pass without affirmation and celebration.

The face of Irish Olympic endeavour and a four-time women's world lightweight champion, Taylor is as close to guaranteed gold as Ireland are going to get. Barry McGuigan, whose centrality to the narrative of Irish boxing is absolute, said so beforehand. A multi-decorated amateur, McGuigan considers his controversial loss in Moscow before the medal stage to be his greatest disappointment. Defeat was not an option for McGuigan but it came nonetheless. Taylor is the Clones Cyclone of her day, the standard bearer on whom all hopes rest.

She was in against Natasha Jonas, a British talent whose star is set only marginally lower than her own. Taylor's introduction did not require the panto presentation. Please make a noise for … the crowd got there first: Katie, Katie, Katie. Jonas must be the only British athlete at these Games to feel the Olympics are in another country. Taylor is from another world. A junior international in football and Gaelic football, she displays a preternatural instinct for sport.

The first round was close, Taylor edging it 5-2. The second was shared in the eyes of the judges. And then, as the greats seem to do, Taylor discovered another plane. Her range and timing acquired a sharper edge and Jonas was suddenly in a different ring. The Dublin quarter was in tumult and, as required in heightened circumstances such as these, broke out into a chorus of "The fields of Athenry".

In each of the closing two rounds Jonas was forced to take a standing count as Taylor emerged from a layer of circumspection. The bout as a contest was over. The margin of defeat was recorded at 26-15. "Judging on that performance she is unbeatable," Jonas said. "I'm not going to make any excuses. I came here the fittest, the leanest, the healthiest and smartest boxer I could be. She is still the best, coming out on top every time. I take my hat off to her. There is nothing else I could have done, maybe thrown the kitchen sink or drove the bus into her. I live to fight another day. Maybe in Rio in four years the result will be different."

The sense that something special, unique even, was taking place was shared by McGuigan. "She was class today. And against a world-class opponent. Katie is a brilliant representative for boxing, a great role model and a lovely human being. I cannot praise her highly enough. She is a true pioneer of women's sport."

McGuigan ventured that Taylor should not be discounted as a candidate for the Val Barker Trophy, the award given to the best boxer at these Games, should she fulfil her destiny and claim gold. "It is fantastic to be an Olympian at last. A dream come true. I have been waiting for this moment all my life. I have never experienced anything like it. Thank God for the victory today and to be in the semi-finals. It's a great privilege," Taylor said.

The improvement in women's boxing is marked, though the sport is not served well by the shoehorning of the weight divisions into three classifications. The audience, usually a male domain, had a heavy feminine accent and looking around the arena it is fair to claim that the Olympic denominations granted to the girls, flyweight (48-51 kilos), lightweight (57-60) and middleweight (69-75), was an insult to the diversity of the women watching, and those boxing. As Jonas pointedly observed "When you see women's boxing at the highest level like that how can you argue that women are not as good as the men. I hope we have done women's boxing proud today."

There were no dissenters at the ExCel. There were boos, however, but of the partisan kind expressing disappointment at the exit of British world champion Savannah Marshall in a ferocious middleweight contest against Marina Volnova of Kazakhstan. The decision could have gone either way but the scores consistently pointed to the blue corner and ended at 16-12 in favour of Volnova. There was better news at flyweight where Britain's Nicola Adams guaranteed herself a bronze with a dominant 16-7 win over Stoyka Petrova of Bulgaria.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London