Katie Taylor is so laser-focused on producing a more definitive result in her rematch against Delfine Persoon on Saturday that she claims she didn't even tune in to see Jessica McCaskill's upset of Cecilia Brækhus this past weekend.
The undisputed lightweight champion did take the time out, however, to commend the new undisputed welterweight world champ on edging the previously undefeated Brækhus (36-1, 9 KOs).
"Congratulations to Jessica on a fantastic performance," Taylor told DAZN News as part of a Zoom conference call with the media Tuesday. "She is the undisputed welterweight champion right now, and to be beat a reigning champion like Cecilia was a fantastic achievement. Another great fight for women's boxing."
While she refused to be goaded into looking ahead to a possible rematch with McCaskill before the Persoon bout first, Taylor did offer that she wasn't "hugely surprised" that "CasKILLA" pulled off the majority decision.
"I did think that Cecilia might eventually outbox her, but I'm not really hugely surprised that Jessica beat her," Taylor said later in the call. "I think Jessica is obviously a great fighter. She has a big punch, and that's why she's able to step up in that weight division and cause problems."
Taylor (15-0, 6 KOs) defeated McCaskill (9-2, 3 KOs) via unanimous decision back in December 2017, and the two undisputed champs could find themselves having to agree on a catchweight for a mega rematch if Taylor could defeat Persoon (44-2, 18 KOs) again.
The Belgian fighter took Taylor the distance in June 2019, with many believing that she did enough to become the undisputed lightweight champion. Now, it's up to Taylor, who eked out a narrow majority decision in their first meeting, to deliver that much more of a convincing performance Saturday at the Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, England, as part of the Dillian Whyte vs. Alexander Povetkin card.
To do that, Taylor must be able to handle Persoon's smothering, forward-fighting style.
"It definitely is a very, very awkward style, and it's a style that's probably hard to look good against at times as well," Taylor additionally told DAZN News. "But I am prepared for this. I've gotten the best of sparring the last few months. I think I have to be a bit smarter this time around, be a bit more disciplined."
By "more disciplined," Taylor means not abandoning her boxing ability to oblige Persoon's phonebooth brawling.
She does that and wins Saturday and Taylor said she'll expound on a rematch with McCaskill and simply being "involved in the biggest fights possible."