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Why Katie Taylor needs VADA drug testing for her future fights

Katie Taylor
Action Images/Reuters/Andrew Couldridge
Olympic star Katie Taylor is now a undisputed professional champion. But she will require more stringent drug testing for her next fight. John Dennen explains

KATIE TAYLOR will need more extensive drug testing for her next fight, whether that is a rematch with Delfine Persoon or a defence of her undisputed crown against Amanda Serrano.

Taylor unified the WBC, WBO, WBA and IBF lightweight world titles on a historic night at Madison Square Garden in New York when she beat Persoon on June 1.

But the Irish star was only drug tested before and after that undisputed title fight and will sign up for Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) testing for her future contests. That will be required for her opponents too.

‘People are saying it was the best female fight they’ve ever seen’

Katie Taylor

Persoon had a Belgium cycling doctor, Maarten Meirhaeghe, with her team in New York who, according to The 42, complained about extra tests the New York State Athletic Commission asked Persoon to take hours before the fight.

“I don’t care, regardless I should have boxed a lot better. It was a great fight and I’m glad to have got through it,” Taylor told Boxing News. “I got caught up in a bit too much of a war. It definitely wasn’t my best performance. I came through. I found a way to win. I think that’s what great champions do. They always find a way even when they’re not at their best.”

Persoon, despite only weighing 130lbs, five pounds below the weight limit, did put in a ferocious performance over the course of 10 rounds. Their hectic clash made for a thrilling spectacle and the outcome was in the balance. Taylor got the decision but there was little to separate them. “We thought we had done enough in the early rounds to actually nick the fight,” Taylor said. “She’s known to throw a lot of punches from the first round to the 10th. I knew it was going to be a physically demanding fight. I knew it was a fight where I was going to have to show a lot of heart and I knew I was going to be in the trenches in that kind of fight, so I did prepare for that kind of a challenge. I just got caught up in a bit too much of a war… I guess I have to take instructions better than what I did.”

Katie Taylor
Persoon engages Taylor in a ferocious contest Action Images/Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

“I knew she was going to make it rough for me. Her game plan was definitely the right game plan, that’s for sure. I was prepared for that going into the fight as well. She’s very, very experienced. That’s professional boxing as well,” Taylor continued. “I’m not too bad at being rough back sometimes as well, so I’m still kind of learning my trade as well, I’m still kind of learning about that side of professional boxing. That was only my 14th fight, so I’m definitely learning that side of it as well.

“It was a proper pro fight, that’s for sure.”

Taylor is certainly open to a rematch with Persoon. “Absolutely. It’s going to be a lot bigger next time round,” she said. “It’s very important for women’s boxing to have a rivalry like that. Not that I wanted the fight to be that close but there’s definitely a lot of positives to come out of it. It is a huge, huge fight in future and the rematch is going to be absolutely huge.”

There are other options for Taylor, though. “A lot of big fights out there for me. The obvious one is the likes of Amanda Serrano. That’s probably one of the biggest fights in boxing right now. That will be huge if it happens. Obviously the rematch with Persoon has got to happen eventually,” she said. They will, though, need to happen with more stringent drug testing protocols than the last fight.

The touted Serrano has had an interesting career. In September she won a WBO super-lightweight title, boxing at 138 3/4lbs. By January she was winning a WBO super-flyweight title, after weighing just 114 1/4lbs. She knocked out her opponent, Eva Voraberger, in just 35 seconds. And she even managed to sprinkle in a couple of MMA contests last year.

Serrano has had issues in the past. Back in 2007, Amanda and her sister Cindy, whom Taylor has already outpointed in a 2018 defence of her IBF and WBA world titles, were arrested after an undercover operation at two gyms in Queens. The District Attorney, Richard Brown, then stated, “Far from being healthy environments for the body and the mind, the gyms were allegedly turned into drug supermarkets by many of the defendants who openly and illegally sold performance drugs.” Amanda and Cindy were charged with the criminal sale of a controlled substance. Although Cindy was a professional boxer at that time, Amanda, who was then only 19, wouldn’t start her pro career until 2009.

An alternative option for Taylor could be Cecilia Braekhus, the undisputed welterweight world champion. “She’s thinking about coming down to super-lightweight. Imagine, undisputed champion against undisputed champion,” Taylor said. “That’s history-making.”

katie taylor
Amateur and pro Katie Taylor has had a remarkable career already

For the time being, though, Taylor can take satisfaction that after an astonishing amateur career in which she won five World gold medals and the Olympic Games, she has already unified all four major world championships as a professional, in an undisputed title fight that was thrilling to watch. “It feels great. This is something I’ve worked towards since I turned pro less than three years ago. In a very, very close fight as well. I’m just delighted to have come through,” Taylor said. “People are saying it was the best female fight they’ve ever seen. There’s definitely been great comments.”

“They’re the kind of fights I absolutely love as well. I’m in the trenches every single day in training,” she added. “It definitely makes it all worthwhile when you do come through a big, big fight like that. It was a very exciting fight and to do it in the Mecca of Boxing, you couldn’t really write a better script.”

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  • Good advice as it would be naive for Katie, or anyone, to assume that these “ladies” wouldn’t do everything and anything to become a world champion just like many of the men.

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