HOME is the hero as the undisputed lightweight champion of the world, Katie Taylor, arrived back in Ireland.
he Bray fighter survived another gruelling challenge from Belgian police inspector Delfine Persoon before getting the nod from the three ringside judges – and her family could not be prouder today.
It was 15 months after the pair’s first gruelling bout at Madison Square Garden in New York, and Taylor clashed with the Belgian in the highly anticipated rematch at Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex on Saturday night.
Speaking to Independent.ie today, her brother Peter Taylor said the family were delighted with the win.
“Katie stepped up a gear this time I think, and I think she boxed better than she did last time, and made some essential improvements.”
Peter rang his sister after the fight and was chatting to her for a little while. He said “she seemed in great form, she was very happy”.
Katie hasn’t been in Ireland since last Christmas and, after Saturday’s fight, she said she couldn’t wait to get home to see her family.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the 34-year-old said: “I was training in Connecticut for a fight that was supposed to be in May and obviously it got postponed, so I just can’t wait to get home to spend some time with family – my nieces, my nephews, my granny. I just can’t wait to see them.”
She arrived in Dublin this afternoon and Peter said: “She couldn’t wait to get home. She will have to quarantine for 14 days, but we are all really, really looking forward to seeing her. It’s been a long, long time since we have seen her and we are all looking forward to it.”
He said that Katie will enjoy hanging out with the family, “given the long time since we have seen her”.
Peter paid a warm tribute to his sister, saying: “I just love her temperament. I love her humility. She’s amazing.”
With no fans permitted to attend the fight due to Covid-19 restrictions, he watched it at home with his wife.
“I was pretty nervous for a couple of days beforehand, to be honest with you. We all really knew that there was going to be patches of the fight that were scrappy and hard to watch.”
However, Katie’s game plan ultimately came out on top. “I thought Katie was just so much better this time and all of the real quality work was coming from her. The shots she was landing were really meaningful.”
He said that having a decisive win was the plan for Katie. “I think it was more decisive than the last time, but it was still reasonably close. I think if they fought ten times, it wouldn’t be a landslide ever.
“I think Katie imposed her game plan better than she did in the last fight.”
The former Olympic gold medallist won on all three of the judges’ scorecards, which ensured that she remained the undisputed lightweight world champion.
“She looked comfortable on the inside. The shots she was landing were really eye-catching, you could just see it quite clearly,” Peter said.
Meanwhile, her opponent said that she respected the result.