Thursday 20 June 2019

Bray boxer Taylor on brink of history


Katie Taylor prior to her WBA, IBF and WBO Female Lightweight World Championships
unification bout with Rose Volante
Katie Taylor prior to her WBA, IBF and WBO Female Lightweight World Championships unification bout with Rose Volante

Brendan Furlong

Katie Taylor's bout with Delfine Persoon in Madison Square Garden next Saturday night has already been called 'the biggest female fight in history'.

Taylor is aiming to become the undisputed lightweight champion of the world and only the third unified champion in the history of women's boxing.

As well as her IBF, WBA and WBO belt, Persoon's WBC title will be on the line while the winner will also be crowned The Ring Magazine lightweight champion. There's a lot on the line in the Garden so it's no wonder promoter Eddie Hearn has suggested that it can be a landmark moment in women's boxing.

Persoon, a police woman from Belgium, has been WBC champion since 2014, making nine defences. However, she has never fought outside of Europe, with all but one of her 44 bouts been in her native country.

'It's great to have the opportunity to become the undisputed champion,' Taylor said.

'Every day in camp has been 100 per cent focused on the task at hand so I won't sit back and think about it until I have actually achieved it. That's what I am like.'

Since turning professional in November, 2016, the Bray native has been clear in each step she has taken on this journey.

After claiming her first world tile in Cardiff in October, 2017, she said her next goal was to unify the lightweight division.

If she completes the feat on Saturday night, there is the prospect of mega fights on the horizon, whether its facing legendry Norwegian Cecilia Braekhus, the undisputed welterweight champion, or Amanda Serrano, who has won world titles at seven different weights.

Persoon is recognised as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. She has been WBC champion now for more than five years.

This is the best against the best, this is what women's boxing wants and it is going to be a huge fight on the night.

Persoon will be an awkward customer for Taylor in what will form the chief support bout to Anthony Joshua's world heavyweight title defence against Andy Ruiz, junior, at the Garden, with Callum Smith also defending his Ring magazine super-middleweight title against Hassan N'Dam.

Wicklow People