Defending champion Katie Taylor crashes out of Olympic Games

Finland’s Mira Potkonen takes split decision in quarter-final bout.

Katie Taylor is speechless after her loss to Finland’s Mira Potkonen in the opening bout of the women’s lightweight competition in Rio. Video: RTE

 

Katie Taylor’s defence of her gold medal was ended in the opening bout of the women’s lightweight competition after she was beaten on a split decision by Finland’s Mira Potkonen in Rio.

The Bray fighter had never lost to the 35-year-old and was ahead after the first round after taking two of the three results from the judges.

Potkonen took the second round in comprehensive fashion, taking it on all three judges’ cards.

Taylor dominated the third round, but crucially one of the judges handed the decision to the Finnish fighter. In the final round she also took two of the three verdicts but it went to a countback, with judge B handing the fight to Potkonen.

“It’s very disappointing. It’s been a very, very tough year. I’ve suffered a lot of losses this year and it’s very, very hard to take,” Taylor told RTÉ just after the bout.

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“The Olympics is a dream for me, and I came in here, I prepared well, I gave it my best shot but it just doesn’t happen sometimes.

“The plans you have in your heart aren’t always God’s plans. I’d like to thank everyone for all their support and prayers. I’m so humbled by that. It’s such a privilege and an honour to be here and I just want to thank everyone for their support.

“I thought she probably won the second round but I thought the other three rounds probably went my way. It’s hard to call the fight, I’ll have to look back at it.

“It’s just very disappointing, I should be beating those girls. Those girls shouldn’t be beating me.”

Ireland coach Zaur Antia belived that Taylor had won the fight over the four rounds and wondered what else the former champion could have done.

“She won (the fight), she had good skills, sidesteps, clean punches, what else she can do now? Katie hit more, two times more than she got, what else she can do?”

“Nobody can convince me that this fight Katie lost; then I have no experience and I don’t know boxing.

“You see her corner there, they were not happy, they were not sure, they had no confidence. When they raised her hand did you see how they jumped.”

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