Katie Taylor says showdown with Claressa Shields is a ‘fantasy fight’

Katie Taylor
In her own words, Katie Taylor explains why she has no interest in jumping up in weight for the sake of her legacy as she prepares for unification in New York

THIS is definitely the biggest night of my career, without a doubt. This will surpass anything I’ve done in my career so far so I realise how big this one is. I realise how great a champion Delfine Persoon is, this is a tough, tough fight. That’s why I locked myself away for weeks and weeks in Connecticut and gone to those trenches every single day in training camp. It’s for these kind of nights. It’s a dream fight for me.

She’s very experienced. She’s been a reigning champion for a while, she’s very tall and awkward. She’s strong and punches from unorthodox angles. She’s the sort of opponent it’s very hard to look good against. It could be a very physical fight, but I’m prepared for this type of challenge.

I train for every fight as if it’s going to be the toughest fight of my career. I don’t think much has changed in training camp, I have the same focus as always.

Madison Square Garden is the Mecca of boxing and it doesn’t really get much bigger than this. I have got here quickly but I think I’ve taken the right fights at the right time and I think this has come at the perfect time for me.

There are plenty of big, big fights out there for me to cement my legacy to go down as the best female boxer of all time. There are huge fights for me. You have to sacrifice big things to achieve big things. It’s more a privilege than a sacrifice to live this life.

The likes of Amanda Serrano, or even Cecilia Braekhus. She said she could come down to meet me in the middle. You don’t have to move up and down weights to become a great. Look at Marvin Hagler, he was at the same weight for his whole life and he’s an absolute legend of the sport. I think going up the weights can be very overrated actually.

But the Claressa Shields fight is definitely not going to happen now. She wouldn’t come down in weight, there’s too much of a weight difference. It’s very much a fantasy fight for a lot of people. What she has done for the sport is phenomenal and she’s taken it to new levels as well. I have a lot of respect for her.

I definitely want to be considered the best female boxer – I want to be at the top of the pound for pound rankings but that’s not really for me to say. But the greatest of all time? That’s for others to say.

I definitely feel like I’ve got plenty of years left in me. I’m 32 years old now but I don’t like mentioning my age a lot of the time. I feel very fresh and I’m not thinking about retiring any time soon, I want to make history in this sport. I’m in this sport for the long haul, that’s for sure.

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