Tommy Dickson/INPHO Katie Taylor poses with her five world titles at The County Club in Dunshaughlin.
guts for garters

Rematch in Belgium 'makes no sense', says Taylor, after Persoon questions her 'guts'

The Bray woman is keen for a rematch, but it’s unlikely to take place in 2019.

KATIE TAYLOR DISMISSED Delfine Persoon’s claims that she “doesn’t have the guts” to rematch the former WBC world champion on Belgian soil, but a sequel between them is “inevitable” — if not quite next on the agenda — according to her manager Brian Peters.

Speaking to Sean McGoldrick in this morning’s Irish Independent, Persoon tabled an offer via her team of €300,000 for the new undisputed lightweight queen but suggested the Bray woman lacked the courage to take on a rematch on the challenger’s turf.

The offer is significantly lower than Taylor now earns per fight, and a trip to Belgium would also mean the fight would take place hours before prime time in America, where she has become the highest-earning female boxer on the planet while fighting on cash-rich streaming platform DAZN.

Both women would stand to earn far less in Belgium than if they were to rematch in the States.

“The Mecca of Boxing!” Taylor said of Persoon’s homeland with a laugh, now five days removed from her razor-tight and contentious decision win over the West Flanders native at Madison Square Garden, New York — the venue which has earned itself the same nickname over the years.

“It doesn’t make any sense to go to Belgium,” she added matter-of-factly.

Katie Taylor Tommy Dickson / INPHO Katie Taylor at a press conference at The County Club in Dunshaughlin. Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Manager Peters said of Persoon’s comments: “In fairness to her, she is a good fighter and a great champion, but that was her first time fighting in the States.

“It’s ludicrous. It actually is a crazy statement. She’s not in any position to be making any demands. Good fighter that she is, if she’s that interested then let her go to America and start making a bit of a name [for herself].

“I suppose that was part of the problem”, Peters added, referring to Persoon’s relative anonymity in America and beyond.

Every time Katie Taylor fights, everybody just expects her to win. We certainly give Delfine Persoon, the WBC champion, plenty of respect. I don’t think too many people did or too many people even bothered to watch her.

“She’s a great fighter. She has more knockouts than Katie has had fights. But again, it’s learning: that was only Katie’s 14th pro fight. The journey continues. We have our plans and our path set out and we will stick with that.”

Brian Peters Tommy Dickson / INPHO Brian Peters speaking at Thursday's press conference. Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

That plan will first consist of another major fight in September or October against a separate opponent, likely in New York.

Peters, however, described it as “inevitable” that Taylor and Persoon will one day meet in the ring once more. “I certainly know that Katie wants it,” he added.

Asked if she had seen any of the debate which followed her victory by the slenderest of margins last Saturday night, Taylor replied:

“I have obviously seen some of it, yeah, for sure. I haven’t seen the fight yet myself but I knew at the time that it was a very, very close fight.

The fight could have gone either way, no doubt about it. But I thought I was a deserved winner and I am sitting here as the undisputed champion and I’m not really too concerned about what other people are saying.

“The opinions that I do care about are the people closest to me: my family and the likes of my team,” Taylor added. “They’re very, very honest people and they all had me winning.”

“I certainly gave Katie five of the first sixth and I certainly gave her the ninth,” said Peters. “But again, everyone has an opinion, and I wonder how many people even wrote it down or scored it or even watched it.

“But it was a close fight. She [Persoon] is a very good fighter. You have to give her credit for that.”

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