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Q&A with Katie Taylor

The IBF, WBA and WBO world lightweight champion boxer will try to unify the division against Belgian Delfine Persoon on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York

What do you make of your opponent, who has 43 wins from 44 fights and is the current WBC champ?

I’ve watched a few clips of her — she’s very, very awkward, tall, very experienced as well. She’s not been beaten in nine years and I’m well aware of the challenge in front of me, I did a 12-week camp for this fight.

Can you believe after 13 fights you are fighting at the world-renowned Garden?

These are the fights you dream of having — unifying the division at Madison Square Garden. You don’t get a better than that really. This is the position I want to be in. It’s an absolutely huge night for me.

What are you expecting from Persoon?

She’ll bring the dark arts of professional boxing but the best have to fight the best and I am honoured and privileged to be in this position. Training has gone great, I had a few different spars and I’m ready for an opponent who will punch non-stop for ten rounds.

Challenge: Taylor with Delfine Persoon PICTURES: REX

Are you disappointed for headliner Anthony Joshua that he had to replace Jarrell Miller after he was caught doping?

It’s a lot easier in the women’s game to make the big fights happen. It is hugely disappointing for Anthony with the Miller fight not going ahead but it is brilliant for me to have Persoon and I can imagine how frustrating it is for the men sometimes.

Is there any needle between you and Persoon?

There’s no animosity from my side, I’m not that kind of person. I’m always respectful regardless of what my opponent does. I won’t react to anything she says.

Could this be the fight of the night?

We’re both at the top of our game and it’s a huge one for both of us. It will make for a very, very exciting fight. It could steal the show. I can’t wait. I want to pull out the performance of a lifetime.

Your promoter Eddie Hearn says America’s Amanda Serrano and her team are trying to avoid fighting you later this year.

She’s a great fighter but who does she fight now? It’s one of the biggest fights out there for me and I just hope she doesn’t try to get out of it in some way.