Cris Cyborg, the Bellator MMA featherweight champion, Amanda Nunes and Holly Holm, both UFC fighters and champions, are on the wishlist
Katie Taylor proved beyond any doubt that her boxing skills were superior to Delfine Persoon in their rematch as the Irish fighter retained the undisputed world lightweight crown by unanimous points decision over ten relentlessly tough rounds. Taylor’s management team and promoter Eddie Hearn are now planning box office contests with the biggest names which could even bring globally renowned mixed martial arts fighters into play.
Cris Cyborg, the Bellator MMA featherweight champion, Amanda Nunes and Holly Holm, both UFC fighters and champions, are chalked on the wishlist, Taylor’s management revealed to Telegraph Sport on Saturday. Within boxing, there is the prospect of match-ups with Amanda Serrano – a world champion in four weight divisions – or a rematch with Jessica McCaskill, whom Taylor defeated three years ago, who now holds all the welterweight title belts after having defeated champion Cecilia Braekhus nine days ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The fight with the Brazilian MMA star Santos, however, could be easy to sign given that promotionally, both Bellator and Matchroom Boxing both have broadcast deals with DAZN. Hearn told Telegraph Sport: “Katie wants the biggest fights out there and we will get them all for her. She is a brilliant boxer and showed how great she is in this rematch.”
Brian Peters, Taylor’s long term manager, said: “What we want is legacy fights now for Katie, and that means getting her in the ring with the biggest names from anywhere in the fight sports industry – Cyborg, Holm, Nunes – an MMA/boxing crossover fight with is now viable because there is a growing interest in women’s fighting. We saw it with Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather and there is no reason why Katie could not do a similar thing. There is mania for her in Ireland.”
Indeed, there is respect universally for Taylor, and unlike the result of the first epic encounter with Persoon fourteen months ago, there were no recriminations this time from the policewoman – who remarkably returns to work in special weapons and tactics training at home in Flanders on Tuesday – with the Belgian admitting that Taylor “deserved” her victory, won by unanimous decision 98-93, 96-94 and 96-94 on the cards, this time around. “This time I respect the result,” said Persoon. “She is technical, she’s good and runs around. You have to hurt her, otherwise she is away. This time, I didn’t have enough power to hurt her.”
Taylor, meanwhile, modest as always, and retaining an unbeaten 16-fight record, admitted: “I do get caught up in brawl at times, but the fight went as planned. I thought I boxed a lot smarter this time. I was dragged into a fight at times but, for the most part, I boxed a bit smarter. It was a better performance. She put up a fantastic fight. We’ve had two fights, put in 20 gruelling rounds, and it’s great to have that rivalry in women’s boxing. Now all I’m interested in is the biggest fights possible.”