Katie Taylor can cement her place as arguably the greatest Irish sportsperson of all-time, when she steps into the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday.
The Wicklow-native and 2012 Olympic champion will attempt to become the undisputed Lightweight championship of the world – a feat only achieved by two other fighters in the sport, either male or female.
Taylor (13-0 6KOs) will put her WBO, WBA and IBF belts on the line against WBC champion Delfine Persoon of Belgium. The winner will also claim, for the first time, The Ring magazine belt.
It’s a fight Taylor has called the “toughest of her career” and which pits “the best against the best”.
Taylor said: “The chance to fight for the four World titles and the Ring Magazine belt at the Mecca of boxing, MSG, I don’t think you could write a better script, it’s an absolute dream.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) May 28, 2019
“Persoon is recognised as one of the best in the world pound-for-pound.”
She added: “It’s a huge challenge but the one that I’ve wanted. She’ll bring the best out of me…..we’re going to lay it all on the line and may the best girl win.”
In March, Taylor overcame Brazilian Rose Volante by virtue of a technical knock-out in their lightweight unification at Philadelphia’s Liacouras Center to add the WBO title to her WBA and IBF belts.
“That’s exactly what I wanted ever since I turned pro,” said Taylor after her win over Volante.
“I was sitting with Eddie Hearn a couple of years ago with Brian (Peters, her manager) and the first thing I said was I wanted to become the undisputed champion.
One of Ireland’s greatest ever –@KatieTaylor closes in on the biggest night of her career next Saturday @TheGarden – @WBCBoxing @WBABoxing @WorldBoxingOrg @IBFUSBAboxing and @ringmagazine World titles on the line against Delfine Persoon #undisputed @SkySportsBoxing @DAZN_USA 🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/9IQM0OLHT5
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) May 23, 2019
“That’s always been my goal since I have turned pro, and that would be absolutely historical. That would equal to winning the Olympic gold medal for me.”
Taylor, 32, fights Persoon on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s IBF, WBA and WBO World Heavyweight title defence against Jarrell Miller.
Persoon (43-1 18KOs) has held the WBC strap for five years with nine defences in that time, but the 34-year-old is fighting outside of Europe for the first time in her career.