Undisputed world lightweight champion Katie Taylor out to silence the doubters in title defence against Delfine Persoon
- Katie Taylor is intent on ‘shutting up’ critics when she defends titles on Saturday
- She earned controversial points win over Delfine Persoon to secure all four belts
- Rival Persoon feels she was cast aside by the judges in New York last year
Irish legend Katie Taylor and her great Belgian rival Delfine Persoon had better be wary in their rematch on Saturday.
Persoon considered herself cast aside by the judges in New York last year.
Taylor feels she has been abandoned by the media following that contentious decision in her favour on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s loss of his world heavyweight titles to Andy Ruiz Jnr.
Katie Taylor out to silence the doubters in title defence against Delfine Persoon on Saturday
In rural Essex, as they were in Manhattan last summer, all the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and Ring belts with which Taylor became one of only seven totally unified men and women world champions in history will be at stake.
Persoon, during her long months spoiling for this return, has described Taylor as ‘a fake champion by robbery’ and vowed ‘to avenge’ the split decision.
Taylor, whose cabinet is crammed also with amateur medals including 2012 London Olympics gold, admits the first fight ‘was very close.’
But this former women’s footballer who had to cut her hair and pretend she was a boy so as to be accepted at first by her local boxing club, adds: ‘What I have to do now is prove the doubters wrong by putting her and that fight behind me.’
Taylor earned a controversial points win over Delfine Persoon last year to secure all four belts
Taylor’s only defeats of consequence came in the 2016 world amateur championships and the Rio Olympics that same year, after which she turned professional.
Since then the closest she has come to losing was against Persoon and there was a substantial body of ringside opinion that she was fortunate to be given a hair-splitting verdict.
That was in Madison Square Garden. Now promoter Eddie Hearn is bringing the rematch to the back lawn of his Brentwood home –as chief support to Dillian Whyte’s defence of his WBC Interim world heavyweight belt against Alexander Povetkin – Persoon’s odds of being given the nod by the judges have to be even longer.
Joshua won his rematch with Ruiz in Saudi Arabia. Taylor will be favourite to win hers in Eddie’s version of The Beatles’ Octopus’s Garden.
Taylor v Persoon and Whyte v Povetki will be televised live on Sky Sports Box Office from 7pm on Saturday.