14 months ago in New York, Katie Taylor fully unified the lightweight division with a controversial majority decision win over Delfine Persoon. Tonight’s rematch in Brentwood, England, was almost as good a fight as the first time around, but this one went a bit more clearly to Taylor, who retained the WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO titles via 10-round unanimous decision.
Scores were 96-94, 96-94, and 98-93 for Taylor. Bad Left Hook also had the fight 96-94 for Taylor, who clinched it in the final two rounds on our card.
Persoon (44-3, 18 KO) was memorably emotional after their 2019 war, and understandably so, as she felt — and many agreed — that she deserved what would have been a big upset victory over the Irish star.
This time around, though, Taylor (16-0, 6 KO) more convincingly got the job done. Persoon was truly relentless in her attack once again, but Taylor was able to avoid more of the rushes, land the majority of clean shots, and take enough of the rounds that there shouldn’t be a whole lot of argument this time around.
“I knew it was going to be a tough fight,” Taylor said after the bout. “It’s never going to be an easy fight against Delfine, she’s relentless. I had to dig deep, but I felt I boxed better than last time. I stuck to my boxing a lot more, though I did get drawn in a few times.”
Taylor added, “You can’t relax at all in there against someone like Delfine. Even though I hit her with clean shots, she’s going to just attack all the time. We put on two fantastic fights, what an amazing two fights for women’s boxing. We definitely did our part to promote the sport.”
Taylor believes she put more of a stamp on this one, and can now move forward, as she had admitted the reaction to the first decision did irk her for the last year.
“I think it was a lot more convincing tonight, even though it was a tough, rugged fight,” she said. “I think I did well and I got a convincing win in the end.”
And Persoon, for her part, gave Taylor all the credit for a clean win this time around.
“This time I respect the result. For me this time, the weight was a bit too much,” said Persoon, who has always fought a bit light as a lightweight. “I didn’t feel like I had the power this time to hurt her. If you don’t hurt her, it becomes a technical fight, and she’s good. She runs around and you have to hurt her, otherwise she’s gone. She deserves my respect this time and I’ve got no problem.”
Persoon said she plans to move down to junior lightweight going forward.
“In the second round I think I broke my nose,” Persoon added. “I’ll get that fixed, then I think  is more my weight than .”
Asked if she wanted a third fight with Taylor, it was Taylor who quickly jumped in, quipping, “Give me a break, please! Give me a break!”