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Delfine Persoon changes approach on Katie Taylor fight

Rose Volante seems to have fallen off the radar but unification talks between Katie Taylor [12(5)-0] and Delfine Persoon [42(17)-1(1)] could be creaking towards a satisfactory conclusion.

IBF and WBA lightweight champion Taylor is keen to solidify her status as the undisputed queen at 135lbs but her team have been frustrated by talks with both WBO titlist Volante and WBC holder Persoon.

A fight with Volante had been hoped for last week but the Brazilian would drag her heels. Renewed negotiations seemed hopeful for a three-belt unification in March in Philadelphia but they would again stall this week.

Taylor’s manager, Brian Peters, then presented a ‘final offer’ to the South American and her team but this 24-hour deadline looks to have came and went with no deal.

READ: Peters sets 24-hour deadline for Volante agreement

The Wicklow woman had been aiming for an undisputed fight with the long-reigning and pound-for-pound-rated Persoon next summer and, while not everything is going her team’s way, there does look to be movement on this front.

Team Persoon offered Taylor $130,000 to fight in Belgium, an offer dismissed out of hand by Peters.

READ: ‘Katie wouldn’t get out of bed for that’

Venue looked to be the sticking point – however the Flemish fighter’s team’s insistence on controlling the fight and having it in Belgium seems to have now softened.

The 33-year-old’s coach, Filiep Tampere, suggests that a big support slot an Anthony Joshua fight could tempt them to leave Flanders.

Persoon is tied up with a mandatory in March so a fight with Taylor on the April 13th Joshua Wembley undercard would be a no-go but a clash in summer, should ‘AJ’ make his long-awaited U.S. debut, could work.

Tampere told Belgian outlet Nieuwsblad that “the fight could take place sometime in June.”

“Then the fight between Delfine and Taylor would be in support of Anthony Joshua,” he added in reference to a mooted New York Madison Square Garden fight night

Calling for an increased bid, which it is believed has been made, the trainer noted how “Whoever puts up the best financial offer from both parties chooses the location. Currently [December 20th] we have the highest bid.”

“I do expect Team Taylor to come up with another offer.”

Tampere was doing a media drive of his on following an explosive roundtable from Brian Peters with Irish media.

The coach was not impressed with Persoon’s desire being questioned and outlined as much to HLN, another Belgian outlet.

“Just to get rid of those kinds of rumours, we made an offer,” he said.

“Delfine asks about nothing else other than fighting Taylor and she isn’t doing it for the money.”

“We now want to lure Taylor out, they claim that we dodge her and do not answer them, that is not true.”

“I have the impression that Taylor is not comfortable with the fight. If she were to lose it’s, of course, all done for her – and Delfine is not a gift.”

It is encouraging talk although a lot more still needs to be done – namely Persoon defending her WBC belt in March and Taylor winning next time out.

The fight would indeed be great for next summer but the matter of Taylor’s bout on the proposed Tevin Farmer v Jono Carroll undercard in Philly remains to be addressed.

If Volante is definitely off the radar a new opponent needs to be sourced and there does look to be a lack of immediate contenders.

Cecilia Braekhus, Amanda Serrano, and Holly Holm are all ‘down the line’ fights and whether another super featherweight champion like Eva Wahlstrom can be enticed up remains to be seen.

There is a rematch, perhaps, with Jessica McCaskill, although this may need time to build, then there is the likes of marketable WBO featherweight champ Heather Hardy.

Whoever it is, they need to be big claims Peters who admits we’re just a wee bit back to the drawing board.”

“We want to keep the big names, the big profiles. we have been working non stop on them since we came back.”


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie