Delfine Persoon comments on Katie Taylor rematch do not bode well
"That's boxing, eh?"
Delfine Persoon knew what she was up against it even before she stepped into the ring.
On Saturday evening, at Madison Square Garden, the Belgian put her WBO belt on the line against Katie Taylor's three lightweight titles. The winner would be declared the undisputed world champion.
Persoon cautioned Taylor that she would need knocking out if she was to lose her belt. She would keep coming and coming until the final bell.
She was true to her word on the second point but, with two of three judges scoring in Taylor's favour, Persoon did lose on points.
Such was the razor-thin manner of her defeat that many pundits, journalists and fans are calling for Persoon to get an immediate rematch against Taylor. The 34-year-old was asked about a rematch, by The Boxing Voice, before she took on Taylor and her response may yet be prescient.
"This is Matchroom, eh. If I lose the fight, it's no problem, I can go home.
"If I win the fight, I have to do a rematch. They always look (after) themselves. I said, 'If I lost the fight, also a rematch?'. They say, 'No, no. Only if you win, you're going to give a rematch. They say what is my next fight. That's boxing, eh?"
Anthony Joshua, who sensationally lost his world heavyweight title bout against Andy Ruiz Jr., is a Matchroom fighter and he, like Taylor, had an immediate rematch clause in his contract. Joshua-Ruiz II is now likely to take place in London later this year.
Public sentiment, and Taylor's own sense of what is right, may yet sway it towards Persoon getting that rematch.
@KatieTaylor and Persoon, easily the best female fight I've seen and close to one of the best fights I've ever seen live. Not the right decision for me but I know Ireland's greatest ever athlete will want to settle the controversy in a rematch. What an advert for female boxing!
— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) June 2, 2019
In a post-fight interview with RTE, Taylor definitely sounded open to the idea of taking on Persoon again.
"We knew that we stole some of the earlier rounds. We definitely won the fight but Persoon is a great champion. She has been a reigning champion for a long time. That's what happens when a champion is in against another champion. It's the best versus the best."
"We are definitely very open for a rematch," she added. "We'll see what happens down the line. There are a lot of big fights out there for me."
Down the line may be the three crucial words from that rematch answer. While it is great for women's boxing that Taylor has finally come up against a formidable foe, there are a host of other big names out there waiting to take on the Olympic, and now undisputed, champ.
Amanda Serrano, Mikaela Mayer and Cecilia Braekhus are two high-profile options while the biggest fight possible would be putting Taylor in the ring against women's super-lightweight champ, America's Jessica McCaskill.
Persoon deserves a rematch, but she may have to bide her time.