Delfine Persoon: ‘Katie Taylor has everything to lose’

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Only one can be crowned undisputed champion, when Katie Taylor (13-0, 6 KOs) takes on Delfine Persoon (43-1, 18 KOs) in a clash for the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO world female lightweight titles during the Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz Jr. fight card at Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 1, live and exclusively on DAZN. Sporting News caught up with Persoon, the 34-year-old WBC titleholder, as she makes her final preparations for Taylor at MSG in NYC.

Sporting News: How would you describe your fighting style?

Delfine Persoon: I think I’m a physical fighter, I have to win my fights because I work a lot. I’m not a fighter that can win with one punch. My trainer always says I’m like a little hammer chipping away, so I throw a lot of punches to break down my opponent.

Join DAZN to watch Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr on June 1

SN: Do you feel that your style will work against Katie Taylor?

DP: I know she has more speed than me, but I think physically I have the edge. Her best chance is speed and technically she is little bit better than me, but it’s not amateur fighting — it’s professional fights. It’s 10 rounds; it’s not three rounds. You can run for three rounds maybe, but 10 rounds is a long time for running. I think with a physical fight it works in my favor. The first three rounds are going to maybe be technical, but the longer the fight goes on, the better for me.

I fight because I like it. For me it’s not my job, it’s my hobby, it’s my passion. I fight for my passion and my team around me. We hope we win the fight, but if I lose it’s no problem for me, I’ll come back to Belgium and go to work as a police officer and I have my job, my security and my money every month. For Katie, boxing is her job. If she loses it’s a big difference for her, it won’t be good for her job. So, for me, I have nothing to lose. Katie Taylor has everything to lose.

SN: You’ve mainly fought in Belgium. What’s it going to be like fighting in America and at Madison Square Garden, the World’s Most Famous Arena?

DP: This is the first time I’ve been asked to fight outside of my home country. When they said if I would like to fight in America, I said ‘yes.’ I don’t know if they know me or if they know Katie Taylor. I know Katie is the favorite to win. I have my style and she has her style. It doesn’t worry me about fighting outside of Belgium as when I fight at home, I have to arrange everything from my opponent to the sponsors. For me, fighting in America means all I have to do is train and fight.

SN: You’ve only lost once and you have a lot more experience that Katie Taylor. Do you feel this gives you the edge in this fight?

DP: As a professional boxer? Yes, I have more experience, but she has had a long and successful amateur career, including the Olympics, which is also experience. I think we are the same when it comes to levels of experience. Boxing is boxing. It just comes down to styles.

SN: You’re a world champion, Katie has the other belts. It’s an undisputed fight, which also has the Ring magazine belt on the line. How big of a fight is this for you?

DP: For me, the biggest thing is that I had no chance to go to the Olympic games because in Belgium there was no national team. Being an Olympic champion is the biggest achievement you can reach in boxing. Many people don’t know that the being an Olympic champion in boxing is the highest achievement. They think it’s world titles.

Now, I can compete with an Olympic champion and hopefully I can beat Katie, so that’s the important thing for me. People say that I am a world champion, but I don’t have the Gold medal because you didn’t go to the Olympic Games, so maybe this is how I have some kind of Olympic win on my record. I want to show the Belgian people that I can beat the Olympic champion.

Feature by Bradley Cullen

 

 

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