Sunday 19 January 2020

Taylor 'doesn't have guts'

Persoon wants rematch in Belgium with Katie offered E300k carrot

VIEW: Delfine Persoon is not confident of a rematch happening anytime soon. Pic: Reuters/Andrew Couldridge
VIEW: Delfine Persoon is not confident of a rematch happening anytime soon. Pic: Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Katie Taylor has been offered a E300,000 purse to travel to Belgium for an immediate rematch against Delfine Persoon, who lost to a controversial majority 2-0 decision against the Bray fighter in their unification showdown at Madison Square Garden last weekend.

"This is a lot of money in Belgium where professional boxing is not a big sport," said Persoon's manager and promoter Filiep Tampere.

There is no chance of Taylor taking up the offer, though the purse is over twice as much as that which the Persoon camp were offered before the New York fight was agreed.

On that occasion, Taylor's manager Brian Peters famously said that his fighter would get out of bed for that kind of money.

Persoon, who surrendered her WBC belt to Taylor, confirmed that she wants an immediate rematch against the new undisputed world lightweight champion.

"It is not a rematch if it happens in two years' time. There is a lot of talk about the rematch but I'm not banking on it happening," said Persoon, who returns to her day job today as an inspector with the Belgian Federal Police based in Bruges.

Realistically, Persoon knows there is little chance of a rematch taking place in Belgium but she upped the stakes by declaring: "I think she doesn't have the guts to come to Belgium for the fight.

"It's wasn't pretty to lose my belt like that. If you lose, you lose, OK. But if you lose the way I did, this is not correct. It is not an amateur fight, it is a pro fight and I didn't lose the pro fight. I landed more punches than she did.

"I was sure when the final bell sounded that I had won the fight. I respect Katie and if she looks back at the fight, she will know that she didn't win it. I want a rematch but I want it within the next five months.

"I have prepared to go to the United States again but I think it would be better in England or Ireland for the supporters."

Tampere claimed that the tenth round was ten seconds short which he suggested was crucial as Persoon had Taylor under serious pressure in the final minute of the fight.

Had she been forced to take a standing count then the fight would have probably been scored as a draw by the judges.

It has also emerged that apart from the spat between the two camps about hotel accommodation, which resulted in the Persoon camp moving to move to a new hotel, the Belgians were at loggerheads with the New York Athletic Commission who oversee all professional fights in the state.

Persoon has been diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma and takes medication. According to the fighter, due to a change in the World Anti-Doping Association rules five years ago, she no longer required a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) form to use an inhaler to treat the condition.

However, the NYAC insisted Persoon take a blood test before the fight to ensure that she did not have hepatitis B, the reactivation of which can be linked to certain asthma.

"But I have been immunised against these diseases because of my job. There has never been a problem before with my medication at any of my championship fights. We sent them details of the medication three weeks before the fight and they cleared it," she said.

It remains to be seen whether Taylor v Persoon II will ever take place and it certainly won't happen this year as the new undisputed champion is believed to have two fights against other opponents already tentatively agreed.

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