Sunday 17 November 2019

Katie one step away from unification gig

CLOSER: Katie Taylor. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
CLOSER: Katie Taylor. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Katie Taylor will finally get a chance to realise her dream of securing all four World lightweight belts provided she beats Brazilian Rose Volante in Philadelphia next Friday night.

Her biggest rival, Belgian Delfine Persoon, successfully defended her WBC belt on Saturday night to set up a potentially lucrative clash against Taylor for the undisputed lightweight championship of the world at Madison Square Garden on June 1.

Thirty-year-old Persoon, who is employed as a railway policewomen in her native country, made the ninth successful defence of her WBC belt when Haitian-American Melissa St Vil failed to answer the bell for the seventh round.

While Persoon has never fought outside Belgium, she is an experienced fighter who turned professional in 2009.

Save for one defeat the following year in their tenth fight, she is unbeaten and her record now stands at 43-1, with 18 of those wins coming via stoppages.

Of course, the showdown between Persoon and Taylor is dependent on the Bray pugilist maintaining her 100pc pro record in Philadelphia on Friday night.

She puts her her WBA and IBF belts on the line but will secure Rose Volante's WBO pink belt and keep her two belts if she wins.

A Big Apple showdown between Taylor and Persoon would be one of the biggest fights in the history of women's professional boxing.

The winner will become only the fourth active boxer - either male or female - to hold all four major belts in their division.

Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk, Norway's Cecilia Braekhus are undisputed champions at the moment, while the winner of the women's middleweight showdown between Clarissa Shields and Christina Hammer in Atlantic City on April 13 will join them.

The Taylor-Delfine clash has been provisionally fixed as the chief support fight for the World heavyweight clash between Anthony Joshua and Jarrell Miller in Madison Square Garden on June 1.

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