Katie Taylor targets Delfine Persoon rematch

Katie Taylor in action
Katie Taylor in action

Katie Taylor wants to fight Delfine Persoon again next summer and deliver a performance that will "shut everyone up" as she continues in her aim to be known as "the best ever".

Taylor became undisputed lightweight champion in June when she beat Belgium's Persoon at Madison Square Garden, claiming the WBC belt to add to the WBA, IBF and WBO ones already in her possession.

The 33-year-old Irishwoman won via a majority decision with the scores 95-95, 96-94 and 96-94, and there was some controversy surrounding the result.

Some observers questioned the decision and Persoon was quoted in the Belgian media as saying she felt she had not lost and would be making a complaint.

Taylor will bid to become a two-weight world champion on November 2 when she faces WBO super-lightweight title-holder Christina Linardatou in Manchester, and hopes to follow that next year with a return to lightweight - where she says there is "a lot of unfinished business" - to face Puerto Rico's Amanda Serrano and then Persoon.

Taylor told the PA news agency: "First I have to overcome Christina Linardatou, and once I do that I hope to have Amanda Serrano next and then the Persoon rematch in the summer sometime. That would be my ideal path.

"It (the Persoon fight) was a touch-and-go fight, an all-out war really for 10 rounds, probably one of the most exciting fights I've ever been involved in, probably a bit too exciting for my liking!

"It's every fighter's dream to become the undisputed champion, that is the pinnacle of the sport right there, so I was very, very excited.

"To call the fight a robbery is an absolute disgrace in itself really. I am well aware it was a very close fight and that is why it is a fight that deserves a rematch as well.

"I'm not one for ducking or diving any challenge, I think my career has shown that so far. I love the big fights and I can't wait for that rematch, to kind of set the story straight really.

"I look forward to beating her a lot more convincingly, to shut everyone up basically!

"I was always aware it was going to be a very close fight and I overcame that. I came away with all the belts and deservedly so."

She added: "It is about legacy, it is about history-making. I want to be known as the best ever and I'm willing to prove myself every single time I step into the ring, and that is why it is so great to be involved in these big fights.

"These are amazing fights to have ahead of me - but first and foremost it is November 2, and my focus is fully on this opponent."

Taylor's clash with Greece's Linardatou headlines a Manchester Arena bill that also features what is set to be the last bout of local boy and former WBC lightweight champion Anthony Crolla's career, against a yet-to-be-announced opponent, and Joshua Buatsi, who won bronze for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics, fighting Australian Blake Caparello.

Bray-born Olympic gold-medallist Taylor is unbeaten in 14 fights since turning professional in 2016.

She said: "I never thought when I first sat down with (promoter) Eddie Hearn three years ago that I could possibly be in this position, to headline a big show like this.

"To be on the same show as Anthony Crolla, his farewell fight, Joshua Buatsi, and all the rest of the fighters on the card, this is such a special moment for me.

"I really feel like I've broken down a lot of boundaries over the years. Definitely when I first turned pro a few years ago I wanted to change people's perceptions of the sport, and the support I've gotten over the last few years in the UK has been so special. They really just see me as another boxer, not a female boxer, which is really amazing.

"To have this opportunity, to headline this show and to become a two-weight world champion is incredible."

Thirty-one-year-old Linardatou has lost once in 13 fights.

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