run it back

'I think the fight was just too close... I definitely have to beat her a lot more convincingly' - Taylor

Eddie Hearn doesn’t think Katie Taylor will ‘let him’ hold off a Delfine Persoon rematch for much longer, but Amanda Serrano will be next.

KATIE TAYLOR HAS reiterated her desire to rematch Belgium’s Delfine Persoon, with promoter Eddie Hearn confirming there are plans in place for the sequel to take place in the first half of next year.

The Bray woman will first move up in weight to challenge Dominican-born Greek Christina Linardatou in a bid to become a two-division world champion, their fight headlining a Matchroom bill at Manchester Arena on 2 November.

Sandwiched between a scrap with Linardatou and a prospective Persoon re-run, however — this provided all goes to plan in just over six weeks’ time — will likely be a long-awaited showdown with rival Amanda Serrano, a fight which Taylor insists “has to happen next”.

Speaking to IFL TV, Taylor explained her reasoning for wanting to face Persoon again, but stopped short of acknowledging that the lack of a rematch would leave a dent in her professional legacy.

“I think the fight was just too close,” she said.

It deserves a rematch. I definitely have to beat her a lot more convincingly. I think there’s unfinished business in the lightweight division. I can hop up and down the weights no problem — lightweight and light-welterweight — but the Persoon rematch has to happen next year sometime.

“I think I deserved the win,” Taylor continued. “It was a very, very close fight, but I came out deservingly as the winner. But I just want to be involved in big fights and this fight is a fight people want to see, so…”

Added promoter Eddie Hearn in the same IFL interview: “Who wouldn’t want to see that fight again?

We’ve got plans for that fight — quite big plans in terms of venues and things like that. So, we’re looking at spring, summer for that fight. I think Katie wants to rematch Delfine Persoon. For me, there’s other things that I want her to achieve as well. But I do think that rematch is inevitable for 2020 because she wouldn’t let me not take that fight anyway, if that makes sense.

As for Puerto Rican nemesis Serrano, Taylor described her victory over Heather Hardy last Friday as “very, very impressive”, pointing toward the fact that “she always comes out very strong.

“Heavy-handed, yeah”, Taylor added, “but this is the fight that I absolutely want. That fight has to happen next, after this fight. That’s the one I want.”

boxing-2019-amanda-serrano-defeats-heather-hardy-by-unanimous-decision Serrano dominated the game Hardy at MSG's Hulu Theater last Friday. Joel Plummer Joel Plummer

The undisputed lightweight champion isn’t overlooking WBO champion Linardatou, however, a fight against whom she has been preparing for since long before its official confirmation at a press conference in Manchester on Tuesday.

“My focus is completely on this fight on November 2nd, and my focus over the last few weeks has been completely on this fight. I am aware there are huge fights out there for me if I overcome Christina on November 2nd,” she stressed.

“She (Linardatou) is definitely very game — I knew that when I took this fight. She’s a very very tough opponent. She has a big right hand, she is very aggressive. It’s going to make for a very exciting fight. It could be a toe-to-toe war if I don’t move my legs. Who knows how I’ll feel on the actual night?” Taylor smiled.

christina-linardatou Linardatou wasn't a happy camper at Tuesday's press conference. Matchroom Boxing / Dave Thompson/INPHO Matchroom Boxing / Dave Thompson/INPHO / Dave Thompson/INPHO

Hearn, meanwhile, clarified the situation surrounding Linardatou’s rematch clause, or lack thereof, which was the cause of some consternation moments prior when he was accused by the Greek’s manager Brian Cohen of treating the champion unfairly.

“Very awkward,” Hearn said. “Someone picked them up from the airport this morning and they said, ‘They’re not happy. There’s something in the contract that they’re not happy about.’

“But basically, it’s no problem to talk about it: we’ve got a rematch clause, they haven’t. She doesn’t care if she has one or not,” Hearn added with a nod towards Taylor, who with a laugh had stated her intention to “stay out of it”.

“Because she’s the biggest star in the women’s sport”, Hearn continued, “but regardless of that, the reason why we can’t give them a rematch clause is because we’ve got plans.

“We’ve got Delfine Persoon, we’ve got Amanda Serrano. We’ve got contracted fights that we have to take,” he said, referring to the latter, who is signed to fight Taylor in the third outing of a three-fight Matchroom deal (victory over Hardy was her second).

“So contractually, we can’t give a rematch clause. And if we had to, we wouldn’t take this fight. And if we didn’t take this fight, Christina wouldn’t be making a lot of money and getting a chance for herself to become one of the biggest stars in the sport.

“I should have just said that on the stage, but anyway… I kind of froze to be honest with ya! I was like, ‘Ehhh…’”

Former Ireland performance analyst and current coaching wizard of OZ Eoin Toolan joins Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey to predict Ireland’s World Cup, break down every pool, and call the overall winners.

The42 Rugby Weekly / SoundCloud

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