Friday 19 July 2019

Katie Taylor's dream of becoming undisputed champion in doubt after fight talks hit financial snag

Katie Taylor. Photo: Sportsfile
Katie Taylor. Photo: Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick

KATIE Taylor's dream of becoming the undisputed lightweight champion of the world hangs by a thread.

Talks between the Taylor camp and the two remaining title holders in the division, Rose Volante and Delfine Persoon, are on the brink of collapse.

Taylor's manager Brian Peters scheduled a noon press conference today in expectation of confirming that the undefeated two-belt champion would bid for Volante's WBO's title in Philadelphia on March 16.

However, Volante – who was supposed to fight Taylor in Madison Square Garden last weekend – is refusing to sign the contract she has been offered.

"The talks are ongoing as we speak. She has been given 24 hours to decide. This has been going on long enough. She was supposed to fight us in the last fight and there has been a lot of talking. But Katie Taylor's career will not be held up by any other fighter. It is just unfortunate."

"By this time tomorrow, Volante will be either in or out. We thought we would announce it today," acknowledged Peters, who said he was sure the latest offer, which was tabled on Wednesday, would have been accepted by the Brazilian boxer, who has never fought outside her native country.

"Yesterday, I would have bet the County Club (the press conference was held in the venue near Dunshaughlin) on them taking it. But I would have lost it and we would all be sitting outside today had I done that."

"But we can't be held to ransom so we have to come up with somebody. It is fierce disappointing that she wouldn't take the fight," said Peters.

The defending WBC lightweight champion Delfine Persoon, who the Taylor camp was targeting for a reunification fight in June – possibly in Madison Square Garden on the undercard of an Anthony Joshua fight - is proving equally elusive to pin down.

Even though the undefeated Belgian fighter declared 24 hours hours ago that she was prepared to fight Taylor anywhere in the world, according to Peters' boxing match-maker Tomás Rohan, the vibes from her camp suggest that she will only take on the Bray boxer on home soil.

Peters confirmed that the Persoon camp had offered Taylor €130,000 while the press conference was in progress for her to take the fight in Belgium.

"Katie wouldn't get out of bed for that kind of money," he said.

"I have now learned that this is part of the pro game and that is the most frustrating thing about it. I want these fights but other girls are not stepping up to the plate," said Taylor.

While the Bray pugilist could in theory move up to the super lightweight division, the problem is that three of the champions in the division are boxers she has already beaten.

But despite all the gloomy talk at the press conference, the reality is that it's all part and parcel of professional fight negotiations and Taylor predicted that the contests against Volante and Persoon will eventually happen.

"I think they will happen because there will be such a demand for them," she suggested.

Online Editors

The Throw-In: Kerry back to their best, Connolly’s return and Cork’s baffling inconsistency

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport