CEIRE SMITH MOVED a step closer to London 2012 with a convincing win at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao, China.
The Cavan flyweight picked her punches carefully to beat Sarah-Joy Rae of Jamaica 12-4 this morning and progress to the last 16.
Smith started the better and took the opening round 2-0 before extending her advantage to lead 5-1 at the half-way point.
She remained in control from that point on and led 7-2 after the third, leaving Rae in need of a miracle to progress, and closed out the win with a strong showing in the fourth and final round.
Up next for Smith in the last 16 is a former world champion, Karolina Michalczuk of Poland. The fourth seed survived a final-round scare to beat Yazici Sumeyra of Turkey 16-14 today.
One of the leading lights of the 54kg bantamweight division in recent years, Michalczuk won silver in New Delhi in 2006, gold in Ningbo in 2008, and bronze in Barbados two years ago before dropping down to flyweight to compete for a place at the Olympics.
Katie Taylor begins her quest for a fourth successive lightweight world crown against Rim Jouini of Tunisia tomorrow.