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Volante bought mother a house, Persoon to build new community gym with money for fighting Taylor

The Irishwoman is the highest-paid female fighter on the planet, but her opponents aren’t doing too badly either.

Delfine Persoon at Monday's public workout.
Delfine Persoon at Monday's public workout.
Image: Nick Potts

Gavan Casey reports from New York

WBC WORLD LIGHTWEIGHT champion Delfine Persoon says she intends to build a new boxing gym with the career-highest purse she receives for facing Katie Taylor at Madison Square Garden.

Earlier in the week it emerged that Taylor’s previous opponent, former WBO champion Rose Volante, was able to buy her mother a house in her native Brazil after facing Taylor in a world-title unification clash in Philadelphia in March.

With the backing of cash-rich streaming platform DAZN in the States, Taylor has become the highest-earning female boxer on the planet by a significant margin. While openly unmotivated by money, the 32-year-old Bray woman is edging closer towards earning a first-ever seven-figure purse in the women’s ranks — although she won’t quite reach that financial milestone when she bids for Irish boxing history in the ring this Saturday night.

Her last few opponents have pocketed career- and indeed life-altering purses, too. Volante is understood to have been paid well over 15 times her previous career-highest take of €10,000, while Persoon — whose team also drove a hard bargain — is set to earn north of that again for her part in Saturday’s undisputed world-title clash.

And the WBC champion, who works as a police officer back home in Belgium, already has plans in place to put the money back into her local community.

Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr - Undercard Press Conference - Madison Square Garden Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon shake hands in New York. Source: Nick Potts

“We will use all of the money to build a new gym in Belgium,” Persoon said ahead of Saturday’s undisputed showdown.

Where we train, it’s very small. I am with my trainer at his old club, with 100 people who come for training. We’ve got eight pro fighters, and we have 20 amateur fighters. And the club is growing and growing. And for us, to give training, is not much of a pleasure anymore because we are in a small place. We want to build a better place so we can train – not just for me anymore, but for the people after me also.

Persoon and her trainer-partner Filiep Tampere will build the new premises from the ground up, and Persoon herself has already put together what she described as a “40-page subsidy dossier” for submission to the local council.

“You know why you want to do it,” she added. “It’s our passion that we want to spend time on this. It’s not possible in Belgium to live off boxing. You have to ask too many people for money. That, we don’t want. We just want to do it for the passion.”

Earlier this week, Taylor confirmed that she had received a message of gratitude from Rose Volante, whose WBO world title she ripped from the Brazilian’s grasp in Philly on St Patrick’s weekend.

Taylor left Volante bloodied, bruised and broken inside the squared circle, but outside of it, ‘Queen Rose’ was able to drastically improve the Queen Mother’s quality of life.

Katie Taylor in action against Rose Volante Taylor lands a right hand on Rose Volante. Source: Tom Hogan/INPHO

“I actually got a message from Rose Volante after the fight saying she was able to buy her mother a house in Brazil with the money she made from fighting me,” Taylor said at a public workout in New York. “That’s incredible for me. She’s set her parents up for life now through that fight. That’s amazing.

“I definitely didn’t expect to be making this much money,” Taylor admitted. “I probably shouldn’t be saying that. It’s life-changing money.”

Taylor’s team deny accusations they had Persoon removed from New York hotel

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