Kevin Byrne reported last night that the WBC title-holder’s team had offered Taylor $100,000 to put her WBA and IBF belts on the line.
No real specifics were put forward from the Flemish fighter but it was believed that this offer was contingent on the fight taking place in Belgium.
Taylor’s management today confirmed that the offer had indeed been received – along with a further offer of $130,000 – but that Persoon [42(17)-1(1)] was insistent on the fight taking place in Belgium.
This is a dealbreaker for Taylor’s team as they look to build the Bray woman on huge cards stateside rather than on comparatively smaller bill in Belgium.
Tómas Rohan, former Irish-Boxing.com editor-in-chief and second in command to Peters, explained how “I think it’s pretty clear she is only interested in fighting in Belgium – it makes no sense!”
“If that fight is in Belgium two men and a dog will see it”.
“For me, it’s just another way of saying I’m not interested. She fought five times when Katie has fought 12 times since turning professional.”
In addition to the location, Peters would argue that the money on offer was nowhere near enough to entice Taylor [12(5)-0] to fight.
The Wicklow woman took home six figures when she defended her WBA belt versus Jessica McCaskill last December and is believed to be raking in similar numbers in subsequent fights.
Therefore, $130,000 to go in in the away corner of another promotion, disrupting their own plans, is a complete no-go
“That’s right actually,” said Peters when questioned on the alleged $100,000 offer before adding “he [Persoon’s manager] made an offer of $130,000 as recently as five minutes ago.”
“But Katie wouldn’t get out of bed for that kind of money.”
“We have dates set. AJ picks his April date – otherwise the tail wags the dog which doesn’t really work out.”
Taylor herself is disappointed by the whole situation.
While Persoon and WBO titlist Rose Volante, who has been given a 24 hour deadline to sign a final offer, are smaller names than the likes of potential opponents such as Amanda Serrano and Cecilia Braekhus, they do hold the remaining pieces to the undisputed puzzle.
Ending this quest for all four belts has been suggested but Taylor is hopeful of picking up all the straps before moving onto super fights.
The 32-year-old outlined how “I guess professional boxing is first of all about the belts and then being involved in those big fights. Both are very important.”
“I obviously want to become undisputed champion but it is important to be involved in those big fights, the likes of Amanda Serrano and those other big names. I’m happy to go for either one really, the fight the public want to see, either one is good for me.”
Peters, too, is keen for an iconic photo.
“Definitely undisputed,” he added.
“I don’t know if any of you saw Usyk against Bellew there. Usyk standing there with all the belts and it’s fairly impressive and Cecilia Braekhus is considered the no 1 pound for pound and rightly so, she’s the champion a long time but certainly Katie would like to challenge that.”
Frustrated by Persoon’s, and Volante’s, reluctance, Taylor appealed to the pair’s fighting spirit
“They’re calling themselves world champions but you have to step up and fight the best as well,” she said pointedly.
“It’s your responsibility as a professional fighter to actually step up and take those fights but unfortunately it’s just not happening in professional boxing.”
Peters finished: “Going back a bit, it’s played out a wee bit, but going back to the Four Kings, you’d Tommy ‘The Hitman’ Hearns, Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, and Sugar Ray Leonard. They kept fighting, it didn’t matter, Hearns knocks out Duran, he still, Duran, gives Hagler a very close fight. They’re what made boxing.”
“They [Persoon and Volante] certainly have a responsibility to female boxing to take the fights and make them happen and not drag them out. But it is tough to force them.