Ireland ensured that Azerbaijan would have to share the glory on the final night of boxing at the European Games here tonight. 

The hosts had four boxers in the finals and walked away with three gold medals through Albert Selimov in the men's lightweight, Parviz Baghirov in the welterweight and Abdulkadir Abdullayev in the heavyweight.

But Ireland's Michael O'Reilly took a little bit off the gloss for the hosts as he beat Xaybula Muslov in the middleweight category, a decision not taken very well by by home fans praised earlier in the day for their fairness. 

His gold medal followed the one won in the first bout of the evening by Katie Taylor, who extended an unbeaten record stretching back to February 2011 when she claimed the women's lightweight with victory over France's Estelle Mossley in a repeat of last year's European Championships final.

Taylor's victory was witnessed by a crowd that included Patrick Hickey, who, as well as being President of the European Olympic Committees, is also head of the Olympic Council of Ireland. 

It was the 18th gold medal that Taylor has won in a major championships, including the Olympics at London 2012. 

"I felt a little differently to be honest," said the 28-year-old from Bray after winning Ireland's first-ever European Games gold medal and which was presented to her by Hickey. 

"I thought she was causing me a little bit of trouble.

"I just felt a little bit tired, my feinting wasn't there.

"I should have been feinting a little bit more.

"It was just one of those things.

"Sometimes you go into the ring feeling a little bit tired.

"You still have to dig deep and pull through and that's the sign of a great champion."

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The delight is clear for Ireland's Michael O'Reilly after he is given the verdict over home boxer Xaybula Muslov to claim the gold medal in the middleweight category ©Getty Images

O'Reilly, a 22-year-old from Portlaoise who four years ago successfully took the Irish Amateur Boxing Association to the High Court in Dublin after they dropped him from the European Youth Championships, showed immense character to beat Muslov.

The final round saw the boxers starting level but O'Reilly did enough to win by a point following a pulsating last three minutes.  

"They don't call us the fighting Irish for nothing," said O'Reilly, unfortunately booed by some sections of the crowd when he received his medal. 

It was the only setback for the Azerbaijanis on a night when, for the third consecutive night, the country's President Ilham Aliyev was there to support their boxers. 

Selimov narrowely outpointed the Frenchman Sofiane Ouhmha and Baghirov followed up by winning on points against Russian favourite and number one seed Alexander Besputin 

Abdullayev did not even have to climb into the ring to get his heavyweight gold medal.

Ukraine's Gevorg Manukian did not pass the pre-bout medical examination and had to withdraw from the final.

It meant Azerbaijan finished top overall in the boxing with a total of 11 medals, including six gold, ahead of Russia, who took 10, four of them gold.

Taylor and O'Reilly's victories lifted Ireland to third overall with a total of four medals, ahead of Britain, who won five, two gold and three silver.

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Albert Selimov one of three Azerbaijan gold medallists with victory in the lightweight category over Frenchman Sofiane Ouhmha ©Getty Images

The Azerbaijani success story owes a lot to their Cuban trainer Pedro Roque, it was claimed. 

"He is an excellent coach," said Selimov.

"I have worked with many coaches.

"There are good coaches in Russia, too, but this coach is very compatible with me from a technical point of view.

"He is also a very good psychologist.

"Maybe that's the reason behind the success."

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