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

The Belgian’s trainer and partner claimed he and Persoon were forced to switch hotels upon Taylor’s insistence.

Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon met at Wednesday's press conference.
Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon met at Wednesday's press conference.
Image: Tom Hogan/INPHO

Gavan Casey reports from New York

KATIE TAYLOR’S MANAGER Brian Peters has rejected claims from Delfine Persoon’s camp that Taylor insisted upon the Belgians’ removal from their shared hotel, and says Taylor and her team have only the utmost respect for Saturday’s opponent.

Ahead of the pair’s undisputed lightweight clash at Madison Square Garden, Persoon’s trainer and partner Filiep Tampere told the Belgian media that he and his fighter were forced out of their Manhattan accommodation after one night when Taylor discovered they were staying in the same hotel, accusing the Irishwoman and her team of being “totally disrespectful”.

Persoon and Tampere have since moved to a hotel which is further away from Madison Square Garden, while Taylor will remain within walking distance for the week.

“Delfine is the number one in the world, Taylor the number three [this is incorrect]… They tell her to move,” a fuming Tampiere said. “Apparently it was in Taylor’s contract that she could demand that. Just as we were settled and found our way, we had to leave in the evening in a hurry. We are now fifteen minutes away. And that while we just made agreements with the supporters…”

Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr - Public Work Outs - Brookfield Place Delfine Persoon at an open workout in New York on Monday. Source: Nick Potts

Taylor’s manager, however, completely rejected Tampere’s accusations, and said Taylor herself was completely oblivious to Persoon being moved to separate lodgings.

Speaking to The42, Peters said:

I heard that they were complaining but I don’t know much about it. Matchroom would have made that decision — they have 33 people here working on the show, putting the whole show together, that Katie wouldn’t even know. They organise that. Katie didn’t know that any of this was going on.

“It’s standard industry practice for fighters to stay in separate hotels. That would be done across the board. So it’s not unusual.

“I’m told they’re staying in the same hotel as Anthony Joshua and his people, now. They’re actually staying in a nicer hotel.”

Katie Taylor is interviewed by Sky Sports Katie Taylor poses at Wednesday's press conference. Source: Macthroom Boxing/Mark Robinson/INPHO

Peters also moved to dismiss Persoon’s suggestion that Taylor’s confidence may have been ‘compromised’, but stressed that the Flemish fighter has her absolute respect ahead of their showdown at the Mecca of Boxing.

“This is the fight Katie has wanted since her fourth pro fight. This is the fight that I’ve worked to get for Katie for a long, long time.

I’ll never forget it: we were sitting down in the County Club [in Dunshaughlin] a couple of years ago and she told me she wanted the fight. I said to her, ‘Katie, we have to make sure you get the most money humanly possible for this fight; it has to be on a huge platform, and it has to be done the right way to get maximum exposure. And it’s going to be a while.’ And she said to me: ‘Brian, I have to be the one to beat her.’ That’s what she said.

“It was actually chilling, the way she said it,” Peters added. “It was delivered in such a cold manner.

But let’s be clear: Delfine Persoon is a hell of a fighter, a serious character and a serious challenge for Katie. Katie has nothing but respect for Delfine. I have nothing but respect for Delfine. How could you have anything but respect for her? She’s unbeaten in nine years, world champion since 2014… She’s terrific.

“She’s nearly had more world-title fights than Katie has had pro fights, albeit she doesn’t have the same amateur background. But I think they’re kind of similar in terms of the experience they’ve gained over the course of their careers.

Persoon has a bit of the dark arts in her, she’s going to be a handful. But I think Katie is going to take her to a place on Saturday night that she’s never seen. And I actually think she’ll be able to handle it when she gets there. That’s how good she is.

“But ultimately, I don’t think she’ll ever have faced anybody close to Katie Taylor.”

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