Kurt Walker bows out of World Championships to Asian champion at quarter-final stage

After a close quarter-final battle, Kurt Walker exited the World Elite Championships at the hands of Mongolia's Tsendbaater Erdenebat yesterday. Picture by PA
Neil Loughran

LISBURN'S Kurt Walker bowed out of the World Elite Championships at the quarter-final stage yesterday following a fiery battle with Mongolia's Tsendbaater Erdenebat in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

The last eight showdown pitted the European Games champion and number six seed against the third seed and 2018 Asian Games gold medallist, with the Mongolian southpaw edging to a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after a tit-for-tat clash.

At his most effective when he closed down space, Erdenebat took the first but Walker responded strongly in the second and clearly staggered his opponent with a flashing right – the best shot of the fight.

The Canal featherweight followed that up with a barrage of shots but Erdenebat kept his shape and continued to respond.

The third was equally tight, with neither man dominating the final round of a full-blooded contest.

Walker's exit ended Irish interest in the tournament and meant that, for the first time since the 2007 championships in Milan, Ireland returned home from the Worlds without a medal.

Meanwhile, Katie Taylor, who won five World golds during a glittering amateur career, wants to fight Delfine Persoon again next summer - and deliver a performance that will "shut everyone up" as she continues in her aim to be known as "the best ever".

Taylor became undisputed lightweight champion in June when she beat Belgium's Persoon at Madison Square Garden, claiming the WBC belt to add to the WBA, IBF and WBO ones already in her possession.

The 33-year-old Bray woman won via a majority decision with the scores 95-95, 96-94 and 96-94, and there was some controversy surrounding the result.

Some observers questioned the decision and Persoon was quoted in the Belgian media as saying she felt she had not lost and would be making a complaint.

Taylor will bid to become a two-weight world champion on November 2 when she faces WBO super-lightweight title-holder Christina Linardatou in Manchester, and hopes to follow that next year with a return to lightweight - where she says there is "a lot of unfinished business" - to face Puerto Rico's Amanda Serrano and then Persoon.

"First I have to overcome Christina Linardatou, and once I do that I hope to have Amanda Serrano next and then the Persoon rematch in the summer sometime. That would be my ideal path.

"It (the Persoon fight) was a touch-and-go fight, an all-out war really for 10 rounds, probably one of the most exciting fights I've ever been involved in, probably a bit too exciting for my liking!

"It's every fighter's dream to become the undisputed champion, that is the pinnacle of the sport right there, so I was very, very excited.

"To call the fight a robbery is an absolute disgrace in itself really. I am well aware it was a very close fight and that is why it is a fight that deserves a rematch as well.

"I'm not one for ducking or diving any challenge, I think my career has shown that so far. I love the big fights and I can't wait for that rematch, to kind of set the story straight really.

"I look forward to beating her a lot more convincingly, to shut everyone up basically! I was always aware it was going to be a very close fight and I overcame that. I came away with all the belts and deservedly so."

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