For the first time in her illustrious career, eyebrows were raised when Katie Taylor’s tired hand was held aloft following an all-out war with Delfine Persoon last summer, in New York.
This Saturday night, the Bray native is determined to rid those “question marks” and set the record straight when she faces the Belgian in a rematch.
Taylor unified the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO lightweight titles last year at the Madison Square Gardens, by winning a majority decision. Some, including Persoon, were convinced the Belgian had done enough but Taylor was declared the winner on two of the three judges’ scorecards.
Expect to see a different Katie Taylor when the former Olympic champion steps into the ring this Saturday – words from Taylor herself. Saturday night is about proving doubters wrong.
“The first fight was too close for my liking,” said Taylor.
“It has been hanging over my head over the last year, so I was delighted when the rematch was nailed down. I did watch the fight back and it was obviously a very close fight. That’s why there is a rematch.
“I want to box a bit smarter on Saturday night,” she said.
Taylor understands that to negate Persoon’s come-forward, aggressive style she will need to avoid the temptation to fight fire with fire but instead be more selective and inventive this time around.
“I’m looking forward to putting on a more dominant performance on August 22nd and shutting up everyone that has criticised me over the last year.
“I guess I enjoy a fight a bit too much. One of the most enjoyable parts of boxing is actually standing there and fighting, but I have to be a bit more disciplined this time round.”
On August 22nd, Taylor will put her undisputed lightweight titles on the line in the highly-anticipated rematch with Delfine Persoon. The first fight last year was a significant contender for ‘Fight of the Year’ in 2019, with both fighters leaving it all the ring.
Persoon, 35, left the Madison Square Garden arena in tears after feeling ‘robbed’ and her insistence she had won was echoed by a few ringside pundits including Carl Frampton, David Haye and Carl Froch.
“The first fight? We think we won,” Persoon said. “Look at who worked the most. Look at the last moment of every round. Look at the beginning of the fight – one round for her, one for me, not all of the rounds were hers.
“We have looked at the fight again. For us, she did not do enough.
The pair will fight in the garden of promoter Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing business.
“I’m in this sport to create history and leave a great legacy,” said Taylor. “These are the kind of fights that are going to leave a great legacy in my career.
Don’t miss it!
Saturday, August 22.
Taylor’s bout is expected to start around 9pm.
Where To Watch
Sky Sports Box Office