Thursday 17 January 2019

Taylor edges closer to dream of unifying division

Unified champion Katie Taylor was impressive in New York. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Unified champion Katie Taylor was impressive in New York. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

Unified champion Katie Taylor appears to be pushing on an open door in her bid to get Belgium's Delfine Persoon to put her WBC lightweight title on the line.

The unbeaten Bray woman defends her IBF/WBA belts in her 12th pro outing, against Finland's Eva Wahlstrom at New York's Madison Garden on Saturday on the Saul Alvarez/Rocky Fielding undercard.

The 32-year-old Irishwoman beat the 38-year-old Finn five times in the amateur ranks and is 1/40 to win with some bookies. Wahlstrom, who was stopped three times by the London 2012 champion in those five losses, is a former super-feather champion but a victory for her would be a seismic shock.

Taylor wanted to unify the division by year's end but Persoon and Brazil's Rose Volante, the WBO champion, have not yet been enticed into the ring.

Persoon defended her strap against Kenya's Judy Waguthii last Saturday and indicated after her win that she would be willing to fight Taylor in Belgium, Ireland or the USA.

The victory improved the Belgian to 42 victories (17 KO) from 43 outings. However, she's only fought once outside her native country.

"We are trying to get her to fight the WBO champion Rose Volante in the United States in March. We are just negotiating at the moment, Eddie Hearn, Taylor's promoter, said.

"Then hopefully Katie will fight Delfine Persoon for the WBC and undisputed title, before taking on Amanda Serrano and Cecilia Braekhus."

Irish Independent

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