By: Hans Themistode
The words “you didn’t win,” has reverberated through the mind of Katie Taylor long enough.
The undisputed lightweight champion has heard the chatter surrounding her highly disputed win over Delfine Persoon for roughly one year.
Most of the crowd that packed into the pre COVID-19 Madison Square Garden arena in New York City, was incredulous when Taylor (15-0, 6 KOs) was handed the majority decision nod. The Ireland native was peppered with boo’s as she left the arena, and has been salivating to shut up her critics ever since.
Now, this coming Saturday night at promoter Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp, Taylor will get a chance to do just that as the pair will face off one more time. The two will co main event the final fight series of MatchRoom Boxing’s backyard series.
A feeling of disappointment was plastered across the face of Taylor when she was given the bad news a few months ago. Her original opponent, seven division world champion Amanda Serrano, pulled out of their heavily anticipated showdown. Yet, when one door closes, another one opens. And in this case, Taylor got the fight she was looking for.
“This is the first fight that I’ve always wanted,” explained Taylor during a recent press conference. “I was looking forward to the fight with Serrano so I was disappointed at first. But the rematch with Persoon is the fight I’ve always wanted.”
While Taylor will receive the chance to leave no doubt the second time around, Persoon (44-2, 18 KOs) on the other hand, has a chance to rewrite history to her liking.
With a win over Helen Joseph in her last ring appearance, it’s easy to forget just how dominant Persoon was a champion. For five years she fought challenger after challenger and never seemed to break a sweat in defending her belt.
She’ll look to not only win back the WBC title that she forked over to Taylor one year ago, but she’s also hoping to add more hardware to her mantle in taking the remaining three major titles.
The book on Persoon is already out. She has an aggressive come forward style who enjoys brawling as opposed to boxing. Her game plan during their first matchup worked to perfection. Taylor may have left the ring with the victory intact, but she was bloodied and bruised more than usual. The Belgium born star will look to create even more chaos this Saturday night. The brand of violence that she’ll bring to the ring is something that she hopes Taylor engages in.
“If it is a war, it’s good for me,” said Persoon during a recent virtual press conference. “If it is a war, I like it. For me, it’s not bad if it is a war. She may give me a war. No problem for me. I like wars.”
Whether or not Persoon will get the rated R fight that she is looking for is unclear. But both women appear ready to close the chapter on an expected rivalry.