24 July 2020

Eddie Hearn labels undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor a ‘special individual’ ahead of Delfine Persoon rematch

Undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor is a ‘special individual’ for agreeing to face Delfine Persoon in a rematch, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

Taylor won a controversial majority decision when the pair met in June last year, a bout many thought her Belgian opponent had won.

Taylor and Persoon fought a thrilling ten rounds in New York last year (PA Wire/PA Images)

And while Taylor is not obliged to grant Persoon a second fight, she has agreed to do so behind closed doors in Essex on August 22.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Hearn said: "If you're Katie Taylor, if you're the biggest name in women's boxing, do you need to be revisiting a fight that could have gone either way and was an absolutely brutal war?

"Well if you're Katie Taylor the answer is yes, because she's a special individual. She loves to compete, she wants to fight the best and she goes again.

"The first fight at Madison Square Garden was one of the best fights I've seen live in my life. To see 21,000 people in New York on their feet was something that I'll remember for a long time.

"Some people felt Katie Taylor lost that fight and since then there's definitely been a niggling reminder inside Katie saying: ‘I want to do that again and this time I want to beat her more convincingly’.

"I think this is an opportunity to really close that chapter and she's looking to make a big statement."

Taylor v Persoon II will be the main undercard fight on the Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin pay-per-view show which will be the fourth and final of Hearn’s ‘Fight Camp’ shows at Matchroom headquarters in Brentwood.

The Irish superstar was initially supposed to face seven-weight world champion Amanda Serrano, but negotiations broke down when the coronavirus pandemic delayed the fight

And Hearn now believes that clash may well not happen at all as Taylor eyes welterweight queen Cecilia Braekhus.

Braekhus is widely regarded as one of the greatest women's fighters of all-time (Tass/PA Images)

He added: "It was a very frustrating period and there's almost a feeling now that Serrano has missed the boat in that respect.

"We've tried to make that fight on numerous occasions, it hasn't materialised and it's been very frustrating.

"I think in Katie's mind that's one that has gone now, and the main focus will go on to Cecilia Braekhus.

"You would have the undisputed lightweight champion versus the undisputed welterweight champion in a catchweight fight which would just be the biggest fight ever in women's boxing."

Braekhus and Taylor are likely to meet down the line if they both win their next fights.

The Norwegian 147-pounder will face Jessica McCaskill on August 15 in Tulsa as she bids to clinch a 37th professional win from 37 fights.

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