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'I deserved the win but I would love a rematch': Katie Taylor keen to fight Persoon again

Katie Taylor addresses the media after arriving home to Dublin airport.
Katie Taylor addresses the media after arriving home to Dublin airport.

By Ian Begley

Hundreds of wildly excited Katie Taylor fans flocked to Dublin Airport this morning to welcome Ireland’s undisputed boxing champion home.

Deafening cheers rang out in Terminal 2 as the 32-year-old Bray native walked through arrivals with Sports Minister Shane Ross by her side.

Airport security had to hold back the frenzied crowds, but Taylor was none-the-less happy to spend up to 30 minutes taking pictures and signing autographs.

Still looking bruised and sore from Saturday’s clash with Delfine Persoon in Madison Square Garden, New York, the world champion said she felt “delighted” to be home.

“I feel a lot better than I look right now, but it’s great to be home,” she said.

“I haven’t been home in months so it’s great to be on Irish soil again and to see all the supporters who came out here today – it’s absolutely phenomenal.

“I think the best part of this is seeing so many female boxers from boxing club all over the country back me every step of the way.”

Although her opponent has confirmed she will lodge an official complaint following her defeat, Taylor said­ that she was confident with her win, but is still happy to fight Persoon in what she called an 'inevitable' rematch.

“I didn’t have any doubts that I landed it,” she said.

“It was a very close fight with a great champion and that’s what happens when the best fights the best. It was an absolute battle and thankfully I came out victorious.

“A rematch is definitely on the table, which it’s going to be great.... I would absolutely love a rematch.”

A motion will be tabled in Wicklow County Council this Friday to have a statue erected in Taylor's honour.

However, the 32-year-old questioned if statues were only meant to be erected for people who are dead.

“I’m not sure how I feel about having a statue, but I’m just so grateful from all the support I’ve received from the whole country.

“The one piece of advice I’d give anyone is if you’re passionate about something just go for it with all your heart. "Anything is possible if you work hard for it,” she said.

Asked, what the next few weeks will have in store for her, Taylor said she’s going to put her feet up and spend time with her nephews and nieces.

“I’ve been in Connecticut training for the last six months so for the next couple of weeks I’m just going to have family time and recover.”

Sports Minister Shane Ross who hosted the airport reception he was delighted to welcome Taylor back as the undisputed world champion.

“On behalf of the Irish government we’re really delighted to welcome Katie back here today as the undisputed world champion,” he said.

“She has become an icon for Irish people and we’re so honoured by what she did on Saturday night. I hope she has a good rest now, but she’s done Ireland so proud now,” he said.

The Minister added that Taylor was offered a civic reception, but said it’s completely up to her whether she wants it or not.

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