Katie Taylor press conference drama – Hearn and Cohen go at it over rematch clause

As seems the case with quite a few of the more recent Matchroom press conferences Eddie Hearn had to deal with a disgruntled member of the top table, as he officially announced Katie Taylor would challenge for Christina Linardatou’s WBO light welterweight world title in Manchester on November 2nd.

The reigning world champion’s manager Brian Cohen revealed his fighter was upset to the point of breaking into tears due to the lack of a rematch clause being in the contract.

The American, who notes how he has managed 26 female world champions, raised the issue when he was granted time to speak at the Manchester-hosted media event – and somewhat of a tetchy back and forth ensued.

Cohen questioned why the rematch clause afforded undisputed light welterweight world champion, Taylor should she suffer surprise defeat wasn’t extended to the Greece-based Dominican Republic-born champ.

The experienced fight manager questioned Hearn and indirectly Team Taylor’s balls while the Matchroom boss suggested the stance was proof the American didn’t believe Linardatou could win.

Watch the exchange below:

The fighter herself wasn’t too pleased with the conditions of the contract, but promised to bring it regardless.

“We’ve been expecting this match for a long time, but under different conditions or circumstances,” said Linardatou. “But at any rate, I’ll go ahead with this match.”

“I don’t have any problem, I’m not afraid of losing my belt. I’m just getting in the ring and give all my best, and this is what I’m going to do always, so I’m here.”

Irish-boxing.com understands that Team Linardatou had agreed to the fight some time before today’s presser, but hadn’t seen the official contract before leaving for Manchester yesterday. Indeed, it’s believed they were unsure as to whether the fight was scheduled for November 2 or November 23 as recently as yesterday.

So it’s quite possible Cohen noticed the omission of the rematch clause quite close to proceedings this afternoon and reacted accordingly.

In terms of Taylor there is no way Matchroom would want her tied down to a rematch clause. There are plans for massive fights with Amanda Serrano and Delfine Persoon in 2020, fights that should further enhance the standing of women’s boxing globally.  Not to mention they hope to secure undisputed two weight status via a clash with Jessica McCaskill and a possible rematch with Linardatou would delay all those groundbreaking star-making monster fights.

The Matchroom boss will also point out that he did job in ensuring his fighter was covered.

While Cohen and Linardatou are upset with the lack of a rematch clause it’s still a massive opportunity for the 31-year-old.

Not only will she get by far her biggest pay day, she has the chance to gate crash Taylor’s Serrano and particularly McCaskill plans if she emerges victorious.

In fact Taylor’s defeated opponents still often benefit from the fight with regard to profile and future opportunities and lose valiantly a-la Persoon and McCaskill and a voluntary return is always an option.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: [email protected]