European Games 2015: Katie Taylor into Baku semi-finals

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Katie Taylor

Ireland's Olympic champion Katie Taylor guaranteed herself another championship medal as she won her quarter-final at the European Games in Baku.

Taylor, 28, earned a unanimous victory over battling Swede Ida Lundblad.

In addition to her 2012 Olympic triumph, lightweight Taylor has won five straight world titles and six successive European gold medals.

Irish middleweight Michael O'Reilly also clinched a medal but heavyweight Darren O'Neill lost his quarter-final.

Portlaoise man O'Reilly became the fourth guaranteed Irish boxing medallist in Baku as he earned an impressive unanimous quarter-final win over Slovenia's Alijaz Venko.

However, Kilkenny man O'Neill, 29, was unlucky to be edged out by Ukraine's Gevorg Manukin in a tight quarter-final.

O'Neill thought he had done enough to take the victory as he punched the air at the final bell but Manukin, 21, was given the 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 victory.

Manukin was ahead on all three cards 10-9 after a scrappy opening round but O'Neill was back in contention after being given the second session by two of the judges.

O'Neill then attempted to be taking control of the third round but a clubbing right hand from Manukin which rocked the Irishman with 90 seconds to go was the stand-out punch of the contest.

O'Reilly, 22, set the tone for his win with a dominant first round as his superb footwork enabled him to beat Slovenian Venko to the punch on numerous occasions.

Michael O'Reilly in action against Sanjin Pol Vrgoc in the last 16
Michael O'Reilly (right) has guaranteed himself a middleweight medal in Baku

After the fight had to be briefly halted in round two following a cut to Venko, O'Reilly lost his rhythm but he back in control in the final round as he secured a comprehensive victory.

London 2012 Olympic champion Taylor has not lost a fight since a controversial defeat at a multi-nations tournament in Bulgaria in 2011.

Bulgaria's Denitsa Eliseeva was given the verdict in that bout and Taylor has avenged that defeat on three occasions - including in Sunday's last-16 contest in Baku.

In Wednesday's fight, Taylor clinched a 40-34, 40-36, 40-36 win as battling Lundblad had no answer to the Irishwoman's slick counter-punching.

Taylor will face Azerbaijan's Yana Alekseevna in the semi-finals on Friday but the Irishwoman insists she will have no fears about being on the wrong end of a home-town verdict.

"In China I boxed a Chinese girl in the final of the world championships and I've boxed Russians before in their home nation as well," said Bray fighter Taylor.

"These are the kind of fights that I love to box such a big fight against the home nation. I'm really looking forward to it."

Taylor and O'Reilly brought Ireland's guaranteed boxing medals in Baku to four after Belfast duo Brendan Irvine and Sean McComb progressed to the semi-finals of their divisions.

Light-flyweight Irvine fights Ukraine's Dmytro Samotayev in his semi-final on Wednesday afternoon.

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