Wednesday 26 June 2019

'I definitely did enough to win but I'm happy to have a rematch' - Taylor offers Persoon second chance after war

Katie Taylor (centre) celebrates her win against Delfine Persoon in the IBF, WBC, WBO, WBA, Ring Magazine Women's Lightweight World Championships fight at Madison Square Garden, New York. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Katie Taylor (centre) celebrates her win against Delfine Persoon in the IBF, WBC, WBO, WBA, Ring Magazine Women's Lightweight World Championships fight at Madison Square Garden, New York. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Sean McGoldrick

Katie Taylor has offered Delfine Persoon a rematch after their epic clash in Madison Square Garden in which the Bray fighter won on a majority 2-0 decision. The third judge scored the unification fight a draw.

Even though the Taylor camp was adamant that the judges got the verdict right, they are willing to face the Belgian police inspector a second chance to become the undisputed World lightweight champion. But the timing of a second fight remained problematic.

"I definitely did enough to win, but I'm happy to have a rematch if she wants it. We will see what happens," Taylor told Irish journalists in her hotel afterwards. She had left Madison Square Garden before the official press conference got under way.

Taylor's manager Brian Peters was more circumvent about a rematch – particularly its timing. He suggested that Delfine would have to wait in turn as Taylor had another opponent lined up for her next fight which is likely to take place in the United States in September.

"We have our own plans which involves fighting in New York again. Unfortunately Belgians wouldn't sell too many tickets in New York. So we would be looking for someone local. But yeah we would always look for a re-match.

"We're always be open to anything. There are so many different factors that have to be taken into consideration. We will look at a rematch sure. Would be look at it straight away? Look we are going to do whatever suits us. So far we have done pretty good so. So we will stick with our plans."

Taylor had to have stitches inserted in her forehead following a clash of heads during an outstanding, though gruelling showdown. The new five-belt champion was also sporting a right black eye as well as a cut on the bridge of her nose when she sat down to talk afterwards.

Even though she was in subdued mood, she was content to have the WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC and Ring Magazine belts laid out before her on the table.

"It is incredibly actually looking at these five belts. This is what I dreamed for, this is what I trained for. I am absolutely delighted. It was a very close fight. We knew it would be a close fight. That's what happens when the best fight the best. There has to be a winner and a loser.

"Nothing surprised me in there. I had prepared for that kind of fight. There was nothing new in there. She was strong and awkward. She kept coming for the ten rounds.

"I knew it was going to be that kind of fight. I knew it was going to be a fight where I had to show a lot of heart. I knew I would be in the trenches at some stage and that's exactly what happened in the fight," said Taylor who said she hadn't spoken to Persoon after the fight.

The defeated Belgian stormed from the ring in tears and is understood to have been extremely upset afterwards in her dressing room that she didn't get the verdict.

But on a night of surprises the shock defeat of unbeaten heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua by Mexican-American Andy Ruiz could work in her favour. Eddie Hearn announced afterwards that a contracted rematch between Joshua and Ruiz is likely to take place in the United Kingdom in November/December.

The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff which has a closed roof is an obvious venue and it a Taylor v Delfine II would be an obvious support for such a bout.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Shane Ross, TD, and the Minister of State with responsibility for Sport, Mr. Brendan Griffin, TD, also congratulated Katie Taylor on becoming the undisputed lightweight world champion.

Minister Ross said: “Huge congratulations to Katie Taylor on becoming the undisputed lightweight world champion at Madison Square Garden last night. Katie has been such a brilliant role model for her sport since her amateur days. Becoming the undisputed world champion in the Mecca of professional boxing is the pinnacle of her career and just reward for all the hard work and sacrifices she has had to make over the years.”

Minister Griffin added: “I would like to congratulate Katie on her fantastic achievement in defeating Delfine Persoon at Madison Square Garden last night and becoming undisputed world champion. Katie is one of Ireland’s greatest ever athletes winning Olympic and World titles as an amateur and this victory is the achievement of a goal she set herself when she turned professional and a dream come true for her.  I would like to wish Katie continued success in the future.”

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