In a hard-nosed, rugged fight that left both women bruised and marked up, Katie Taylor edged a majority decision win over Delfine Persoon to fully unify the lightweight division.
Scores were 95-95, 96-94, and 96-94 for Taylor. Bad Left Hook had it 95-95 and 96-94 Persoon on two cards.
Taylor (14-0, 6 KO) was in a fight from the early going in this one, as Persoon (43-2, 18 KO) came in with a clear plan of attack, to be aggressive, make Taylor uncomfortable, and make the more skilled, well-schooled Irish star fight the fight that Persoon wanted.
It worked, quite a bit. Persoon didn’t have the footwork or slickness of Taylor, but the Belgian, who came in holding the WBC title, was able to dirty it up and bait Taylor into a lot of exchanges. When Taylor boxed, she was effective. When Persoon was able to get her to mix it up, Persoon had real success.
It was a much, much more competitive fight than just about anyone really expected it would be, and this is one that probably deserves a rematch. Not only was it close and even controversial, but it was just a really good, hard-hitting fight with some real drama and high stakes.
“It was a very, very close fought. I thought I won the early rounds and she came on strong at the end,” Taylor said. “I knew it was going to be that kind of a fight. Persoon is a great champion, fantastic champion. Very, very strong.”
Taylor said she would give Persoon a rematch, but also mentioned fighting Amanda Serrano. Persoon, for the record, was upset about the decision and left the ring immediately.
CompuBox saw Taylor land 103 of 410 (25%) total punches, and 93 of 230 (29%) of her power shots. Persoon landed 116 of 586 (20%) total punches, and 83 of 360 (23%) power shots. Persoon out-jabbed Taylor, 33-10, and the two were about even on body shots, with Persoon landing nine to Taylor’s seven.