Katie Taylor edges Delfine Persoon in bloody war, wins Ring/undisputed lightweight championship

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NEW YORK — Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon set the bar very high for the heavyweights in the main event.

Taylor survived a bell-to-bell blitz from the Belgian brawler to retain her WBA, IBF and WBO lightweight belts, and add Persoon’s WBC belt also, while winning the inaugural Ring Magazine women’s lightweight championship on Saturday on the Joshua-Ruiz card at Madison Square Garden.

After ten rounds, one judge had it even at 95-95, while the other two had it narrowly for Taylor, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Bray, Ireland, making her the third female to be undisputed at her weight, joining Claressa Shields at middleweight and Cecilia Braekhus at welterweight.

The fight brought back memories of Christy Martin vs. Deirdre Gogarty from 1996, as both fighters ended the fight with cuts and swelling from what may have been the best women’s boxing fight in recent memory.

It was a rough fight from the opening bell as Persoon (43-2, 18 KOs) pushed forward behind a hard jab, landing with more authority than Taylor’s faster, but lighter jab.  The slower, awkward shots from Persoon still managed to land on Taylor, and Persoon continued the roughhousing in round three, trying to bang Taylor with her shoulder.

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Photo by Melina Pizano/Matchroom Boxing UK

Taylor began to assert herself more in round five, getting off her punches quicker but Taylor emerged with cuts on her scalp and the bridge of her nose as Persoon succeeded in forcing the rough brawl she has wanted. Persoon wasn’t unmarked herself, sustained a cut above her right eye and swelling above her left, which progressively worse.

The crowd tried to bring Taylor back to life, belting out the chorus to Oasis’ “Wonderwall” after the music had died down to begin the ninth. Taylor responded with a left hook that knocked sweat off of Persoon, but Persoon only answered back with a smile and continued to push forward. The crowd booed vociferously at the conclusion of the ninth when Persoon landed a right hand on Taylor after the bell to end the ninth.

The two traded punches toe to toe without any pretext of boxing, but Persoon’s physical strength had worn Taylor down, and an exhausted Taylor wobbled in the final moments to the bell.

 

The post Katie Taylor edges Delfine Persoon in bloody war, wins Ring/undisputed lightweight championship appeared first on The Ring.

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