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June 1, 2019; New York, NY; WBA, IBF and WBO lightweight women's champion Katie Taylor is declared the undisputed champion over WBC lightweight women's champion Delfine Persoon during their unification bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Melina Pizano/Matchroom Boxing UK

Boxing

Katie Taylor wins a controversial Fight of the Year contender, becomes the Undisputed Women’s Lightweight Champion

After her toughest fight to date, Katie Taylor may need to have a rematch with Persoon before going for other superfights

For years, women’s boxing was brushed off as an afterthought. In 2019, Claressa Shields v. Christina Hammer and Katie Taylor v. Delfine Persoon proved those skeptics who run boxing wrong. The latter fight, one of the best in boxing this year, featured two established fighters fighting for glory. As controversial as the ending may have been to some, they can’t deny it was a wild ride to get to that moment.

Taylor def. Persoon via split decision (95-95, 96-94, 96-94) to add the WBC and The Ring Titles to her impressive resume. As a result, she is the Undisputed Women’s Lightweight Champion.

The crowd inside Madison Square Garden were going crazy for the history-making bout under the Anthony Joshua v. Andy Ruiz Jr. headliner. Ireland was represented well as Katie Taylor (14-0) had supporters everywhere. While not as much as Taylor’s, Persoon’s (43-2) presence was felt in and out of the ring. By the end of the bout, both received a standing ovation.

Prior to the fight, Persoon didn’t look as impressive as Taylor did during the open workouts. It turned out that it didn’t matter, as she brought the power to Taylor. Both were throwing shots at one another in round one, with Taylor seemingly having the advantage. From then on it became an all-out war. Persoon was applying pressure to Taylor’s game, winning rounds two and three.

While Taylor was throwing fast combination shots, Persoon was pounding away at Taylor’s face. Rounds six through eight were true wins for Persoon, who could have potentially knocked Taylor down if it wasn’t for the fact that women’s boxing only had two-minute rounds instead of three.* As Compubox points out, Persoon had a significant advantage in strikes towards the later rounds.

via Compubox

via COMPUBOX

Taylor looked to be in retreat mode in the later rounds, staggering on her back foot as Persoon charged away. Her combination shots were still strong, however, as they landed on the non-fragile chin of Persoon. By the end of the fight, both were spent but still managing to inflict damage. Due to the heart and fast nature of Taylor, several scores were marked as a 95-94 victory, and two judges saw it 96-94 in favor of her.

Persoon lost her title for the first time since 2014. During that time she successfully defended it nine times.

* This fight, regardless of the outcome, proved that women’s boxing can thrive in today’s boxing scene. In one of the best fights of the year, Taylor and Persoon put on a clinic. Even with restrictions put on them, it was a must-watch fight. There is still an argument that female fights should have three-minute rounds instead of two and be twelve rounds instead of ten for several fights.

As far as what is next for Taylor, there are now various opportunities. She can take a rematch with Persoon or go towards the highly-touted superfight with multi-division champion Amanda Serrano. A Persoon rematch and potential win could erase all doubt, as Persoon and Taylor have fantastic chemistry against one another. It could be the start of a true rivalry in women’s boxing that is badly needed.

“I am definitely happy to give Delfine a rematch,” Taylor stated. “There are big fights out there for me. There’s Amanda Serrano and I think that fight should be next but I am really happy to fight whoever.”

Daniel Yanofsky

Daniel Yanofsky

Daniel is a Managing Editor at DoubleGSports.com, and covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). He is also the lead New York Mets writer. When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a Sunday podcast, The Main Event.
Daniel Yanofsky
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