Katie Taylor v Delfine Persoon: What time, what channel - Everything you need to know
As Katie Taylor gets ready for the biggest night of her pro career, here's all you need to know from Madison Square Garden.
What’s at stake?
Literally everything is up for grabs. Unless the contest ends in a draw, the winner will be crowned the undisputed lightweight World champion and become the holder of the WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF belts as well as a new Ring magazine belt specially commissioned to mark the boxer's undisputed status.
Taylor is aiming to become the first Irish boxer to become an undisputed champion in the four belt era. The last recognised Irish undisputed World champion was flyweight Rinty Monaghan in 1947.
This is Taylor's fourteenth professional fight and she has an unblemished record with six of her wins coming inside the distance. The Madison Square Garden show is being headlined by World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua who is making his US debut against Mexican-American Andy Ruiz.
Who is Delfine Persoon?
The 34-year old Belgian Federal Police inspector has been the WBO belt holder since April 2014. She is unbeaten since 2010 when she was stopped by fellow Belgian Zelda Tekin – but the result has to be viewed in the context of Persoon's decision to discharge herself out of hospital where she was been treated for dyhydration a couple of hours before the contest.
She is unbeaten in her other 43 fights and she achieved more knock-out wins (18) than Taylor had had fights. She is currently ranked the number one lightworld in the world by Box Rec with Taylor at two, but this is only her second fight outside Belgium.
What channel is the fight on?
The fight will be shown live on Sky Sport Pay per view Box office beginning at 10pm tonight (Saturday). The Taylor/Delfine fight is expected to start at 1.30am approximately on Sunday morning. The contest will also be shown live on the DAZN streaming network in the United States
What Katie says:
“I'm loving this journey and I just want it to continue for years to come. There are a lot of big fights out there for me. But I have to get by Persoon in order for them to happen. I have trained for what I believe is going to be the toughest fight of my career and it should be because she has a fantastic record.
“It is going to be a very physical fight and it is going to be a fight in which in which I will have to show a lot of heart. My chin is going to be tested and her chin will be tested as well. It could possibly turned into an all out war. But I have been in the trenches in the training camp and have prepared for whatever happens on the night.”
What Delfine says:
“The belts are not important to me. I never had a chance to go to the Olympic Games. But she is the Olympic champion and the best thing I can have on my boxing CV is to beat the Olympic champion. That's what motivates me.
“I am sure this is going to be her hardest fight. I'm not saying I'm going to win but I will give her a hard fight. If she is the better fighter on the night and I lose it will be difficult but I will be ok. But if I lose because everybody is cheering for Katie Taylor then that is not good.
What the bookies say:
Taylor is 1/16 to maintain her one hundred percent record and make it 14 wins on the spin while Persoon is the 8/1 outsider.
What’s next for Katie:
Everything hinges on the outcome. In the event of her losing, Persoon is obliged to offer her a rematch under the terms of the fight contract. But if the Bray fighter secures two more belts to add to her collection, there will be mega fights coming her way which according to her promoter promoter Eddie Hearn will see her become the first female boxer to earn a purse in excess of one million dollars.
An expected September clash back in New York against Amanda Serrano, a seven belt World champion is in doubt because of the latter's apparent reluctance to agree to take the challenge. However, a pre-Christmas showdown against the undisputed welterweight World champion Cecilia Braekhus, who is unbeaten in her 35 fights is definitely in the making.