Friday 18 October 2019

'I am being treated unfairly' - Katie Taylor's opponent Christina Linardatou blasts promoter Eddie Hearn

Christina Linardatou and Katie Taylor pose as promoter Eddie Hearn looks on during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
Christina Linardatou and Katie Taylor pose as promoter Eddie Hearn looks on during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

Sean McGoldrick in Manchester

There was no shortage of fireworks at the official fight announcement of Katie Taylor's WBO super-lightweight world title fight with Christina Linardatou in Manchester on November 2.

The Linardatou camp became involved in a verbal showdown with Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn, with the row centring on his refusal to insert a rematch clause into the contract for the Greek fighter, even though she is the defending champion going into the Manchester Arena contest.

Taylor will get a rematch in the event of her losing her one hundred percent winning record against the WBO super lightweight world champion but there is no reciprocal arrangement for Linardatou.

"I am being treated unfairly due to the absence of this clause," said the 31-year old afterwards. "When I heard about it was ready to explode. I wished the fight was today but I can wait a few weeks."

Her Philadelphia based manager Brian Cohen, who clashed repeatedly with Hearn during the press conference.

"The re-match clause is the bone of contention. There is a re-match clause for her (Katie) if she loses but there is none for Christina if she loses," he said. 

"I think everybody knows I am unhappy with that. I have still to sign the contract. It is still in my email," he declared afterwards.

But he acknowledged that he would sign the contract in its current format and the fight would go ahead in the Manchester Arena on November 3.

Linardatou upped the ante by suggesting that Delfine Persoon had beaten Katie Taylor in her last fight but didn't get the verdict due to the politics of boxing.

Ironically, the only defeat Linardatou suffered in her professional career came in 2016 when she lost on points to the Belgian.

"It was inexperienced then but I learned a lot since," she said.

An exhausted Taylor – who flew in overnight from Boston – stayed clear of the controversy but there was no denying her enthusiasm at the prospect of becoming a two-weight World champion.

"I was told earlier that Steve Collins and Carl Frampton are the only two Irish boxers to win world titles at different weights. This is a milestone moment in my career to be headlining a show in Manchester and I really hope that Irish fans travel to the fight," she said.

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