Delfine Persoon anticipates Katie Taylor taking a different approach to their lightweight championship rematch Saturday night.
The former WBC 135-pound champion is prepared for a more tactical Taylor because Taylor made their first fight more difficult for herself by abandoning boxing. Brawling with Persoon helped produce one of the sport’s most entertaining encounters of 2019, but Taylor plans to use her “boxing brain” to score a more decisive victory in their second bout.
“I think she don’t gonna fight with me,” Persoon said Tuesday during a virtual press conference. “She gonna box another way. But yeah, we’re gonna see Saturday.”
Persoon hopes, of course, to lure Ireland’s Taylor into another slugfest. The Belgian boxer believes that type of fight favors her and would help her avenge her majority-decision defeat to Taylor in June 2019.
“If it is a war, it’s good for me,” Persoon said. “If it is a war, I like it. For me, it’s not bad if it is a war. She may give me a war. No problem for me. I like wars.”
Regardless, Persoon plans to be aggressive from the start of their 10-round fight for Taylor’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 135-pound championships in Brentwood, England. The 35-year-old Persoon (44-2, 18 KOs) is comfortable boxing off her back foot, yet she doesn’t consider that strategy her most effective path to victory Saturday night in a fight that’ll be held on the grounds of the headquarters of Matchroom Boxing, Taylor’s promoter.
“Everybody have their style of boxing,” Persoon said. “I can also box. … But if she don’t come, you have to – there is one that have to take the initiative to make a nice fight. So, if the other one don’t come because [she] wants to go turning around, left and right, then there’s one that has to come [from the] front. Also, it’s my style to come in front, but I can also box on the other side. It’s how the other fighter fights how you make your fight.”
A relentless, rough Persoon pressured Taylor (15-0, 6 KOs) unlike any previous opponent in their fantastic fight 14 months ago at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Taylor did enough to convince judges Allen Nace and John Poturaj, both of whom scored their fight for her by the score of 96-94. Judge Don Trella scored the action even, 95-95.
Their rematch will part of the Dillian Whyte-Alexander Povetkin undercard.
Sky Sports Box Office will televise Taylor-Persoon II as part of a pay-per-view show (7 p.m. BST; £19.95). DAZN will stream it in the United States, along with the rest of that five-fight card (2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.