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Katie on the brink of glory

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CHAMP: Katie Taylor celebrates after defeating Rose Volante in their WBA, IBF & WBO Lightweight World Championships unification bout in Philadelphia. Photo by Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

CHAMP: Katie Taylor celebrates after defeating Rose Volante in their WBA, IBF & WBO Lightweight World Championships unification bout in Philadelphia. Photo by Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

CHAMP: Katie Taylor celebrates after defeating Rose Volante in their WBA, IBF & WBO Lightweight World Championships unification bout in Philadelphia. Photo by Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

A 34-year old Belgian railway policewomen stands between Katie Taylor and sporting immortality.

Barring any last-minute contractual snags, Taylor - now a three-belt World champion after securing the WBO lightweight title against Rose Volante in Philadelphia - will face the long time WBC champion Delfine Persoon in Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1.

The winner will become the undisputed lightweight champion of the world, an accolade which Taylor has pursued with relentless zeal since turning professional in late 2016.

But though she has never fought outside her native country during her ten-year professional career, Persoon is my far the most experienced and accomplished performer Taylor has faced in the pro ranks.

The only line of form which connects the pair is the case of Italian journeywoman pro Monica Gentili. She lasted 91 seconds against Taylor when they clashed in the latter's third professional fight in London's 02 Arena in March 2017.

The following January Gentile took Persoon the full eight rounds in a non-championship bout. Persoon won on a unanimous points' decision.

But the Madison Square Garden show is a chance in a lifetime for Persoon as well. She will earn her biggest ever fight purse - in excess of $100,000 - and has the opportunity to be forever remembered as the boxer who took down Katie Taylor.

The Bray pugilist knows the risk and she has never opted out of a challenge in her life.

"June 1 is perfect for me. The road to be undisputed is still on and fighting Delfine Persoon is the one I want next. Fighting on the Anthony Joshua under card would be perfect," said Taylor.

The World heavyweight champions is making his US debut on the June 1 card.

Immersed in her preparation for last weekend's fight against Rose Volante, Taylor didn't watch Persoon's most recent successful defence of her WBC belt when she stopped Melissa St Vil in the seventh round.

It was her 18th professional win via stoppage and her 43rd in total. The only blemish on her record is a knock out defeat in 2010 just over a year after she turned professional. She has been world champion since 2013.

"It will be a tough fight because she has been reigning world champion for so long. It will be a very physical fight but I also think it will be a cracking contest.

"She is awkward and punches non-stop. She has a high work rate and it is definitely going to be hard to look well against her. But it has been settled and that who I want," said Taylor.

Contracts for the fight for due to be signed before the end of the week and after a short break at home in Bray, Katie returns to the United States next Sunday to kick off a ten-week training camp ahead of the showdown.

"This is a fight in which Katie will be fighting for her legacy in the sport," said her promoter Eddie Hearn.


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