Katie Taylor and Kellie Harrington ready for final step

Taylor will call her own shots while Harrington can have hope in semi-finals

Katie Taylor in action during her lightweight quarter-final against Mexico’s Victoria Torres at the  Women’s World Boxing Championships in Astana, Kazakstan. Photograph:   Inpho

Katie Taylor in action during her lightweight quarter-final against Mexico’s Victoria Torres at the Women’s World Boxing Championships in Astana, Kazakstan. Photograph: Inpho

 

All week in Astana the sun has turned the long straight walkway to the Barys Arena on the outskirts of town into a shimmering haze. When the wind blows it is hot and dry and comes in from the vast Kazakh Steppes which begin just yards from the back of the imposing granite and marble building.

Then it is just flat grassland as far as the eye can see, endless and remote. With the sun and the heat of the concrete and the dust from the countless building sites scattered across the ever growing city, objects can become distorted and appear to be not what they are.

The tournament began that way with Katie Taylor, kinked and skewed because of her recent loss to Yana Alekseevna. But since boxing began order not distortion has been the story so far.

There is very little Katie does not know about Estelle Mossely, the French woman she meets today in the World Championship semi-finals. The two last met in the final of the European Games in Baku last year, where Taylor won 40-36, 40-36, 39-37.

They also boxed in the 2014 European final in Bucharest, where the Irish boxer won her sixth title. On that occasion the two traded blows early in the fight before Katie lifted her work rate and earned a unanimous decision.

She can expect Mossely to come forward and seek contact again today.

Kellie Harrington, who has becoming one of the inspirational figures on the team, meets an equally impressive figure in her light-welterweight semi-final in six-time Canadian national champion Sara Kali. The Montreal boxer dug deep to beat Romanian third seed and two time European champion Steluta Douta on her way through the draw.

Her prerogative

Eddie Bolger

“We have to remember she is Katie Taylor,” he said. “Katie’s been around the block to know. She’s her own girl. We just guide her along. She has kept herself disciplined and made her own choices. That’s what world class boxers do. Sometimes when you have had enough running around, you sometimes go toe to toe and she is well able to do it.”

Twice so far she has gone toe to toe in short spurts and Mossely would like her to do it again today. It brings more danger but there is a part of Taylor that enjoys the risk and the physical thrill.

She also knows the limits of her ability which in nearly all aspects are far beyond those of her opponents so she will embrace that physical aspect and have the intelligence to move and score using her incredible speed and explosiveness.

“I’m feeling a bit tired now,” she said after her last bout against Mexico’s Victoria Torres. “But I’ll rest on Wednesday, although I’ll have to train a bit to keep my weight right. But I will be ready.”

The world of boxing and especially Mossely can count on that.

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