By: Hans Themistode
It’s all been easy for undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor. Maybe even too easy.
From her amateur career that she capped off with a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, to her run as an undefeated professional for four years, it’s been entirely too easy for Taylor.
To be fair, Taylor knows that her skills have far exceeded anyone that she stepped into the ring with. But when she stood across from former WBC lightweight champion Delfine Persoon in June of 2019, she immediately realized that this was not going to be a walk in the park.
“I knew going into that fight that it was going to be a tough fight,” said Taylor to promoter Eddie Hearn during a recent virtual press conference. “I realized that from the get go that she was the toughest challenge that I ever faced.”
The slick in and out boxing, the side to side movement and the usual bewildered look on the face of her opponents were all absent. Fans sat in their seats at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and wondered what the hell was going on? But while everyone seemed shocked at how difficult Persoon made Taylor’s night, the former Olympic gold medalist saw this night coming from the moment the contract was signed.
“I wouldn’t say I was surprised at all. I wanted the challenge and I came out victorious and deservedly so. I will be ready again on August 22nd and again, it will be the same results.”
Becoming a fan favorite can do funny things to a fighter. The smooth boxing skills of Taylor were replaced with a rough and rugged style during their first matchup. The constant cheers of her name coupled with the drunken high fives whenever she would land a punch may have motivated Taylor to squeak by with a close majority decision win, but it also may have altered the way she normally conducts herself in the ring.
It was a flat out mistake to fight Persoon’s sort of fight. But with no crowd for their rematch on August 22nd, Taylor believes she won’t be suckered into another fire fight this time around.
“Yeah possibly,” said Taylor when asked if the crowd may have effected her. “I’m going to fight the right fight for me at the end of the day. It’s called boxing at the end of day and the sweet science for a reason. People over the last few years have been saying that I fought a Mayweather round but he was an actual genius in the ring. It is called boxing and that’s what I’m best at.”