The Belgian went old school and called a contract signing press conference in her home country and finally put pen to paper on a deal to fight Katie Taylor in New York – although it is yet to be officially confirmed by Team Taylor.
The long-reigning West Flemish fighter and WBC beltholder smartly ensured she was the final piece of the Taylor’s undisputed jig saw as it ensures a massive pay day, but also seems worried she will be as an opponent rather than a champion in her own right.
The police officer has reigned as champion since 2014 and is a tough operator with nine title defences under her belt.
Persoon and her team pushed hard in the contract negotiations but is intent on letting people know that she travels to the Madison Square Garden Arena on June 1st with a will to win and not just pick up a cheque.
At yesterday’s press conference, Persoon [43(18)-1(1)] called for respect in the build-up and for fair playing field in a unique but direct way.
The WBC champ claims she fears ‘bullying’ in the build-up and called for the fair judging.
The 34-year-old expressed worries about things would “take place fairly”.
“I mean that I expect Taylor’s camp to want to get me out of balance beforehand,” Persoon explained.
“What I fear is games from the other side. It can be small things, bullying, but it is annoying – even though I am mentally very strong and I box even better when I am annoyed,” she added before discussing the judging of the bout.
Persoon had been keen to bring the fight to Belgium but did not have the financial muscle for that. Home advantage, it was claimed, was not the reason for this desire – more a fear of unfavourable judging on a Matchroom card.
These fears remain, and the veteran champ made sure to make the point.
“I also hope for honesty during the fight,” she said. “By that, I mean that if it comes to points, the judges will also make a fair decision.”
“I am worried about that. We know we can be robbed.”
“To be sure, I have to win with a knockout, but that is not easy – and if you look for that KO too much, you forget to box.”
The Belgian, who has long since been a Taylor [13(6)-0] target, feels underestimated but warns she is has undisputed dreams of her own.
“I think the Taylor camp regards her as the big favorite and that they are underestimating me a bit.”
“I am 100% focused and want to get those three other belts. I heard that I would only be the fourth boxer ever to have all four in her possession, so it is unique. ”