Undisputed world lightweight champion Katie Taylor is confident of “shutting up” her critics when she defends her titles in the rematch against Delfine Persoon.
The 34-year-old added the WBC belt to her IBF, WBO and WBA titles with a contentious points decision over Persoon at Madison Square Garden in June 2019.
Many pundits, including Carl Frampton, David Haye and Carl Froch, who were ringside in New York, felt Taylor was fortunate to avoid a first professional defeat, and Persoon has since described the Irishwoman as “a fake champion by robbery” and vowed to avenge the loss at Fight Camp in Essex on Saturday night.
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Taylor (15-0) insists she has learned from the mistakes she made in the first fight as she aims to silence the naysayers and beat the Belgian more comprehensively.
“It has been hanging over me for the last year,” she said. “Everyone that has criticised me since the first fight, I’m looking forward to putting on a more dominant performance and shutting up people.
“I’ve watched the fight back and it was obviously a very close fight – that’s why there is a rematch. But I definitely couldn’t have given her more than five rounds in that fight, so for people to say it was a disgraceful decision – or it was a robbery – is a disgrace in itself.
“It wasn’t my best performance and I want to put that right on Saturday. I got drawn into a bit of a fight in the first one but sometimes that happens. I’m definitely going to be more disciplined in this fight.
“I want to go in there and produce a smarter performance. I’d love to clear any doubt on Saturday and win more convincingly.”
In New York 14 months ago, Taylor became one of only seven totally unified world champions – across men and women – and she sees Saturday’s rematch as another stepping stone in her legacy.
“I’m in this sport to create history,” added Taylor. “This is a huge fight for me and for Persoon. It’s a huge fight for the sport.”