Though last year’s fight between Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon has been widely acclaimed as one of the best women’s fights ever, certainly one of the best that came on a truly big stage on the Joshua-Ruiz card, Persoon herself didn’t think the fight was all that great, actually.
We’ve hyped the fight repeatedly, and despite Delfine’s indifference to its quality, I still say it was a hell of a fight, and would have been a show-stealer for sure had Andy Ruiz Jr not turned boxing upside down for a bit with his upset of Anthony Joshua just after.
As for quality, you can watch the full fight here and judge for yourself.
But here’s Persoon’s reasoning:
“(T)here was a lot of holding, holding, holding. In another country they would tell you: ‘Don’t hold’ then take away a point. But they never spoke about her holding me. In the fourth round her trainer said, ‘Grab her arms!’ Is she going to run and grab me? For the people, that is not a good fight. 10 rounds of running with one or two punches is not a fight that people want to see. Take the first punch, answer, jab, come in, go out. Katie throws one shot, runs away, then grabs.”
She’s, of course, not the first person to note Taylor’s holding. Taylor, who controversially won a majority decision to become undisputed lightweight champion, absolutely held a lot, and still it was a good fight for most of us goons because it was physical, hard-hitting, really spirited, and kept a nice pace.
Taylor (15-0, 6 KO) and Persoon (44-2, 18 KO) will rematch on Aug. 22, part of Matchroom’s final Fight Camp card, or at least what they hope will be the last one, which is headlined by Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin.
Persoon, 35, doesn’t expect Taylor, 34, to change tactics, and admits that Taylor is more technically sound than her, but she’s hoping for the “right” decision this time, as she still firmly believes — as do others — that she deserved the W the first time around.
Since their first outing, Taylor went up to 140 on Nov. 2 and won the WBO belt from Christina Linardatou, but clearly prefers being at lightweight if possible. She was meant to be fighting Amanda Serrano, but that all pretty gloriously fell apart, and Persoon was drafted in, which is a fine replacement and a warranted rematch. Persoon also fought last November, beating Helen Joseph over 10 rounds in Belgium, and also made a play at the Olympics, but lost in her opening qualifying bout to Nikoleta Peta of Greece.