Katie Taylor ahead of her fight against Delfine Persoon at Madison Square Garden.
PHOTOS BY INPHO/MATCHROOM BOXING/MARK ROBINSON
By Jay Mwamba
Billed as the biggest rematch in women’s boxing, Katie Taylor’s second tango with Delfine Persoon is a go for Aug. 22 at the Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, England. Taylor unified the world lightweight division by defeating the dangerous Belgian last June via a majority decision after 10 brutal rounds at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Many fans and pundits, including former world champions Carl Frampton and Carl Froch, believed Taylor [15-0, 6 KOs] got a gift in the Big Apple. Next month’s rematch, with the Bray native’s WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO belts on the line, could help clear the cloud over that disputed outcome.
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“With Amanda Serrano not taking the fight I wanted the biggest fight possible in August and I think a second Persoon fight is one that everyone wants to see,” said Taylor, alluding to the unsuccessful efforts to make the fight with Serrano, who’s won world titles in seven weight divisions. “I’ve been looking forward to a rematch ever since the first fight and I’m delighted it’s been made. It was definitely very close first time around, but I felt I deserved the win and I intend to leave no doubts in the rematch.”
Taylor, who’s 34, went on to claim another accolade at Manchester Arena last November when she dethroned WBO super lightweight world champion Christina Linardatou to become a two-weight world titlist. She became the third Irish boxer to win world titles in two weight classes.
Said Persoon [44-2, 18 Kos]: “I am ready to get the victory following the injustice last June in New York, not by words but in the ring – I am ready!”
She held the WBC strap for five years, making nine successful defenses, before losing it to Taylor. Persoon has been lobbying for a rematch ever since.
“Wow! What a fight!” Exclaimed promoter Eddie Hearn. “I can’t quite believe this fight has been made, I can’t give enough credit to Katie and Delfine for agreeing to do it again. Since their epic Fight of the Year contender at MSG last year, everyone has wanted to see this once again and now we have it”
Adam Smith, Sky Sports Head of Boxing Development, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to confirm Katie Taylor’s eagerly awaited rematch against Delfine Persoon, with all the world lightweight titles on the line. Katie has called for a second fight ever since that thrilling first encounter when she received the verdict, much to the dismay of Persoon.