The first fight last June between Katie Taylor and Delphine Persoon was action packed with many feeling that the decision should have gone to Persoon as they believed she did more over ten rounds to get the victory. On Saturday, Taylor wanted to make sure that there was a definitive victor.
Taylor scored a unanimous decision win (98-93, 96-94 twice) over Persoon to retain the undisputed lightweight championships and stay unbeaten, now 16-0. Persoon lost for the third time in her career and the second to Taylor (44-3).
Both fighters knew it was going to be a competitive battle and it was just that. Persoon attacked early and often and Taylor wanted to land the jab and get away from her opponent. There were times when both wanted to do work on the inside with Taylor landing shots to the body and Persoon going for power shots upstairs. While Persoon threw punches in bunches, many of them were not landing for the first half of the fight as Taylor landed the cleaner shots. Taylor’s plan was to hit Persoon with jabs and combinations then move away before Persoon can work on the inside. In the second round, Persoon had a bruise on her right cheek from the work of Taylor but that did not deter her from going at the champion.
Persoon’s plan seemed to be a duplicate of the first encounter where she had come on strong in the later rounds against Taylor, but in this bout Taylor was more successful as she didn’t tire out and continued to land hard shots on Persoon. The ninth round was where Taylor landed a solid right hand to stun Persoon temporarily and give the Olympic gold medalist time to create space between her and the former WBC champion. In the final round the fighters gave as much as they could to show the judges that they wanted the win, but Taylor came out on top.
After going through two fights against Persoon, Taylor brought up how rough it was going up against her.
“I knew it was going to be a tough battle going into this fight,” Taylor said. “It’s never going to be an easy fight against Delfine. You can’t relax at all in there against someone like that. She’s going to come and come and come. Even though I am hitting her with clean shots, she is just on the attack all the time.”
Taylor felt that this time she did much better than the fight last June. “I knew I had to dig deep at some stage during the fight but I thought I boxed a lot better than last time. I think it was a lot more convincing tonight even though it was a tough fight…But I think I did that well, I boxed well.”
Even though Persoon threw a lot of punches from beginning to end, she felt that Taylor was the better boxer.
“This time I respect the result, Persoon said after the fight. “I didn’t feel like I had enough power to hurt her this time. You have to hurt her otherwise she gets away. I’ve got no problem with this decision and my respect she deserves.”
Taylor’s win sets up what could be one of the biggest fights in women’s boxing history – undisputed champion versus undisputed champion – if Taylor has a rematch with newly crowned welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill. Taylor defeated McCaskill three years ago but McCaskill has not suffered a loss since then. Taylor and McCaskill are among the top fighters in the sport and a fight could decide who would be considered among the best in the sport today.
Cover photo by Mark Robinson