"This is not only a sporting theft, but a financial theft" 2 years ago

"This is not only a sporting theft, but a financial theft"

Picture the scenes in Ireland if Katie Taylor had put in one of the greatest performances of her career only to see her dreams snatched away by the judges.

Back in 2016, Katie Taylor climbed out of the ring, at the Rio Olympics, in complete shock and disbelief.


The Bray native had fought well against Mira Potkonen but was eliminated at the quarter final stages on a split decision. There would be no follow-up to her London 2012 gold medal.

"Nobody can tell me that Katie lost this fight," fumed her trainer Zaur Anita. "Then I have no experience and I don't know boxing."

(Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

Tallied to the scandalous elimination of fellow Team Ireland boxer Michael Conlan and the nation was uproarious. Our fighters had been beaten by a crooked system. Surely.

In the immediate aftermath of a defeat, some bitter truths must be faced and yet some bitter comments cannot be unsaid.

Katie Taylor was given the fiercest test of her professional career, at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, but her composed, clinical start against Delfine Persoon would prove key. Taylor built up a handy lead (5-1 on two scorecards and 4-2 on the other) after six rounds before she began to fade.


Taylor ended up getting the split decision in her favour, this time, and winning the ninth round, on all three scorecards, ultimately crowned her as undisputed lightweight champion.

Saying that, there are many out there - incluing Carl Froch and Carl Frampton - that believe Persoon did enough to win the fight. The Belgian took all Taylor had to offer and walked her down in three of the closing four rounds.

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Persoon took damage but inflicted some of her own too and felt her hand would be raised by the referee.


It was not, and she left in tears not long after.

Back in Belgium, they are livid. Several media outlets have bemoaned the judges' decision and are calling for an immediate rematch, something Persoon has already admitted is a stretch.

Over on Sporza, their boxing expert Jef Van Driessche believes Persoon's handlers should appeal the decision and should take those involved to court.

"This is outrageous. If I were the manager of Persoon I would take this to court. Because this is not only a sporting theft, but also a financial theft.

"How one comes to such a result is unheard of. This is one of the purest thefts I have ever experienced in boxing.

"It was clear that Delfine had won. I scored myself and I had 3 points in favour of Persoon. You could tell by the body language of Taylor... it was that of a loser."


Van Driessche later claimed that the fight taking place 'in a room filled with English speakers and many Irish people', as well as Taylor's high profile, may also have went against the Belgian.

He went so far as to liken some involved in boxing to the Mafia and suggest that the judges that scored in Taylor's favour would 'benefit more' from their controversial call.

All we can say on this one is, after that dodgy throw-in scandal and Luc Nilis' goal against us in the 1998 World Cup playoff, let's call this even.


We're looking forward to the rematch already.