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Delfine Persoon offers rematch with Katie Taylor on August 15

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Katie Taylor (right) in action against Delfine Persoon in the IBF, WBC, WBO, WBA, Ring Magazine Women's Lightweight World Championships fight at Madison Square Garden, New York last June. Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Katie Taylor (right) in action against Delfine Persoon in the IBF, WBC, WBO, WBA, Ring Magazine Women's Lightweight World Championships fight at Madison Square Garden, New York last June. Nick Potts/PA Wire.

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Katie Taylor (right) in action against Delfine Persoon in the IBF, WBC, WBO, WBA, Ring Magazine Women's Lightweight World Championships fight at Madison Square Garden, New York last June. Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Delfine Persoon has offered to fight Katie Taylor in August following Amanda Serrano’s decision to pull out of her much anticipated showdown against the Bray boxer.

Persoon, the former long-time WBC lightweight champion, surrendered her belt on a controversial split decision to Taylor in Madison Square Garden 12 months ago.

“Delfine is willing to take on Taylor on August 15,” declared her manager and trainer Filep Tampere speaking from his home in Belgium.

Taylor has consistently said she wants another fight against the 35-year old Belgian police inspector. But Tampere remains doubtful about whether his boxer will ever get a second chance against the unbeaten Taylor.

“So far I haven’t heard from Eddie Hearn and I doubt if we will ever get a rematch.”

Persoon’s career took a new twist at the start of the year when she registered again as an amateur fighter to pursue a long-term ambition to represent Belgium at the now-postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

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Promoter Eddie Hearn. Photo: Ed Sykes/Action Images via Reuters

Promoter Eddie Hearn. Photo: Ed Sykes/Action Images via Reuters

Action Images via Reuters

Promoter Eddie Hearn. Photo: Ed Sykes/Action Images via Reuters

However, her plans suffered a serious setback at the European Olympic qualifying tournament in London in March when she was beaten 4-1 by a Greek lightweight Pita Nikoleta in the first round

The tournament was later abandoned due to growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

It subsequently emerged that boxers and coaches from a number of countries including Turkey and Croatia were diagnosed with the virus after returning home.

Tampere revealed that Persoon became seriously ill with pneumonia following her return from London.

“While her test for Covid-19 came back negative according to her doctor she had all the symptoms associated with the virus," he said.

"She was ill for some time but thankfully she has now fully recovered and his back running and doing other exercises. Due to the restrictions she cannot do any sparring at the moment.”

“Our plan is to go to the final Olympic qualifying tournament in Paris. However, we can change our plans if we get the fight against Katie Taylor. Delfine is available and wants to fight her in August,” said Tampere.

Her loss against Taylor in Madison Square Garden still rankles with Tampere. “Delfine won the fight. If you look at on the tape the final round ended 10 seconds short when Delfine was totally on top.”

It is unlikely that Persoon will be chosen to replace Amanda Serrano for the fight which is scheduled to take in a specially-constructed arena in the back garden of Eddie Hearn’s Essex estate on August 15.

However, a replacement has already been lined up as there were always doubts over whether Serrano, a nine-belt seven-weight world champion, would step into the ring against Taylor.

Taylor could opt to fight at super-lightweight and avoid putting her four World lightweight belts on the line. But if she stays in the 135lb category she may face one of three fighters.

Unbeaten British fighter Chantelle Cameron has repeatedly called out Taylor; another option is Jelena Janicijevic from Serbia while the Bray fighter’s former rival from her amateur career Estelle Mossely is another option.

The French fighter beat Taylor in the semi-final of the 2016 World championships in Astana and was later crowned Olympic champion in Rio. Since turning professional in 2018 she is unbeaten winning her six bouts.

Meanwhile, a public spat has erupted between the Serrano camp and Lou DiBella who negotiated the deal with Matchroom for the Taylor-Serrano showdown.

In a series of tweets DiBella flatly contradicted the claim by Serrano’s coach and manager Jordan Maldonado that his sister-in-law’s purse was going to be cut by fifty percent if the fight went ahead.

However, DiBella agreed with her decision to pull out of the fight on the grounds that what was billed as one of the biggest fights in the history of women’s boxing would now take place in the promoter’s back garden with no fans allowed.

“I threw no one under the bus. Amanda had a deal we accepted. She got training expenses and started getting ready. Then Covid-19 caused a postponement. She wasn’t asked to take a reduction. She kept training. The rescheduled date also was wrecked by the pandemic.

“Recently, Eddie (Hearn) asked if team Serrano would take a pay cut to fight Katie a Taylor in August, literally in his backyard. I spoke to team Serrano and we agreed that Eddie’s backyard, for a pay cut, in front of no audience, was not how Amanda wanted to fight.

“The biggest fight of her life and one of the biggest fights in the history of women’s boxing. I supported her in that decision. We didn’t discuss the amount of a purse reduction because it was a non starter under the circumstances.”

It is believed that Serrano’s original purse for the fight was in the region of €260,000 – comfortably the biggest pay cheque of her career.

Last night there were reports from the US that instead of fighting Taylor Serrano had signed a deal with a US-Spanish TV station to feature in a reality fitness programme.

Online Editors