There may not have been a crowd to give both Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon an applause, but there is no doubt that the fans watching from home gave a standing ovation.
Taylor (16-0, 6 KOs) got the proverbial monkey off her back this afternoon. When the undisputed lightweight champion met Persoon (44-3, 18 KOs) last year, many were split on who won. This time around, Taylor left no doubt as she was the better boxer on the night.
Persoon, as always, came forward and created chaos for Taylor. To her credit though, she managed to avoid the big shots and land some of her own. It was clear that Taylor was in no mood for a firefight, yet she found herself in one during long stretches of their matchup.
Unlike their first contest however, Taylor dealt with the pressure like the champion that she is and walked away with her undefeated record intact.
The final scores were as followed: 98-93 and two scores of 96-94 all in favor of Taylor.
By: Hans Themistode
The words “you didn’t win,” has reverberated through the mind of Katie Taylor long enough.
The undisputed lightweight champion has heard the chatter surrounding her highly disputed win over Delfine Persoon for roughly one year.
Most of the crowd that packed into the pre COVID-19 Madison Square Garden arena in New York City, was incredulous when Taylor (15-0, 6 KOs) was handed the majority decision nod. The Ireland native was peppered with boo’s as she left the arena, and has been salivating to shut up her critics ever since.
Now, this coming Saturday night at promoter Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp, Taylor will get a chance to do just that as the pair will face off one more time. The two will co main event the final fight series of MatchRoom Boxing’s backyard series.
A feeling of disappointment was plastered across the face of Taylor when she was given the bad news a few months ago. Her original opponent, seven division world champion Amanda Serrano, pulled out of their heavily anticipated showdown. Yet, when one door closes, another one opens. And in this case, Taylor got the fight she was looking for.
“This is the first fight that I’ve always wanted,” explained Taylor during a recent press conference. “I was looking forward to the fight with Serrano so I was disappointed at first. But the rematch with Persoon is the fight I’ve always wanted.”
While Taylor will receive the chance to leave no doubt the second time around, Persoon (44-2, 18 KOs) on the other hand, has a chance to rewrite history to her liking.
With a win over Helen Joseph in her last ring appearance, it’s easy to forget just how dominant Persoon was a champion. For five years she fought challenger after challenger and never seemed to break a sweat in defending her belt.
She’ll look to not only win back the WBC title that she forked over to Taylor one year ago, but she’s also hoping to add more hardware to her mantle in taking the remaining three major titles.
The book on Persoon is already out. She has an aggressive come forward style who enjoys brawling as opposed to boxing. Her game plan during their first matchup worked to perfection. Taylor may have left the ring with the victory intact, but she was bloodied and bruised more than usual. The Belgium born star will look to create even more chaos this Saturday night. The brand of violence that she’ll bring to the ring is something that she hopes Taylor engages in.
“If it is a war, it’s good for me,” said Persoon during a recent virtual press conference. “If it is a war, I like it. For me, it’s not bad if it is a war. She may give me a war. No problem for me. I like wars.”
Whether or not Persoon will get the rated R fight that she is looking for is unclear. But both women appear ready to close the chapter on an expected rivalry.
By: Hans Themistode
Picking up the win has always been the main goal for undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor.
No matter if she scored a one punch knockout or cruised to a unanimous decision win–as long as she left the ring with her hand raised in victory then she was perfectly alright with that.
With that being said, Taylor knows that one of her wins is severely tainted.
“The first fight has kind of been hanging over my head for about a year,” explained Taylor as she reminisced about her first matchup with Delfine Persoon. “I feel like I have a bit of unfinished business. I have a chance to clear everything up on Saturday night.”
Persoon, a former five year lightweight title holder, walked into Taylor’s home away from home in Madison Square Garden in New York City in mid 2019 and gave the overwhelming favorite the fight of her life.
The cheers of Taylor’s name that filled the arena throughout their matchup, quickly turned to chants of Persoon, Persoon, Persoon.
The Belgium native fed off her new fans and seemingly pulled off the upset. Yet, when Taylor was given the majority decision nod, Persoon could do nothing but walk away with her head down in defeat.
Since that loss, both fans and media members alike have been split down the middle on who actually won. It’s a fair reaction given how close their first encounter was. Nevertheless, Taylor doesn’t expect any confusions the second time around.
“A lot of people had her winning the fight and a lot of people had me winning the fight. I was delighted that the fight went my way but I will look to win the fight a lot more convincingly. We knew that there was going to be a rematch eventually. We’re just happy that it’s happening now.”
With the two set to settle the score this upcoming weekend at Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp, Taylor won’t be suckered into another war.
Getting into a dog fight has never been the style of Taylor. The multiple division champion would much rather stay on the outside and out box her opponents. Yet, when she matched up with Persoon, Taylor was dragged into a firefight. It may have been entertaining for those in attendance and watching from home, but expect their rematch to be less fan friendly.
“I think I have to fight a bit smarter than I did before. I do love to fight but that’s probably my problem sometimes. Obviously that’s not the smartest option at times, but in this fight I’m going to have to be more disciplined.”
By: Hans Themistode
It’s all been easy for undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor. Maybe even too easy.
From her amateur career that she capped off with a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, to her run as an undefeated professional for four years, it’s been entirely too easy for Taylor.
To be fair, Taylor knows that her skills have far exceeded anyone that she stepped into the ring with. But when she stood across from former WBC lightweight champion Delfine Persoon in June of 2019, she immediately realized that this was not going to be a walk in the park.
“I knew going into that fight that it was going to be a tough fight,” said Taylor to promoter Eddie Hearn during a recent virtual press conference. “I realized that from the get go that she was the toughest challenge that I ever faced.”
The slick in and out boxing, the side to side movement and the usual bewildered look on the face of her opponents were all absent. Fans sat in their seats at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and wondered what the hell was going on? But while everyone seemed shocked at how difficult Persoon made Taylor’s night, the former Olympic gold medalist saw this night coming from the moment the contract was signed.
“I wouldn’t say I was surprised at all. I wanted the challenge and I came out victorious and deservedly so. I will be ready again on August 22nd and again, it will be the same results.”
Becoming a fan favorite can do funny things to a fighter. The smooth boxing skills of Taylor were replaced with a rough and rugged style during their first matchup. The constant cheers of her name coupled with the drunken high fives whenever she would land a punch may have motivated Taylor to squeak by with a close majority decision win, but it also may have altered the way she normally conducts herself in the ring.
It was a flat out mistake to fight Persoon’s sort of fight. But with no crowd for their rematch on August 22nd, Taylor believes she won’t be suckered into another fire fight this time around.
“Yeah possibly,” said Taylor when asked if the crowd may have effected her. “I’m going to fight the right fight for me at the end of the day. It’s called boxing at the end of day and the sweet science for a reason. People over the last few years have been saying that I fought a Mayweather round but he was an actual genius in the ring. It is called boxing and that’s what I’m best at.”
By: Hans Themistode
For much of Katie Taylor’s professional career she has cruised by her opposition. However, there was one night that left the fans watching at home wondering whether or not she was the better fighter.
When Taylor and Delfine Persoon matched up against one another in a 2019 lightweight unification, it was assumed to be an easy night’s work for Taylor. Yet after 12 grueling rounds, the thought of who actually won their contest came into question.
Taylor’s fanbase was left in disbelief when the scorecards gave her the nod against Persoon on the night. Now, with the recent failed negotiations between Taylor and seven division world champion Amanda Serrano, Taylor has decided to settle some unfinished business.
Taylor and Persoon will meet on August 22nd as the co main event of Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin. News of their agreement left promoter Eddie Hearn jumping out of his seat.
“Wow! What a fight – what a night! To be honest I can’t quite believe this fight has been made, I can’t give enough credit to Katie and Delfine for agreeing to do it again,” said Hearn in a recent press release. “Since their epic Fight of the Year contender at MSG last year, everyone has wanted to see this once again and now we have it. I’m very proud to stage this fight especially at such a critical time for our sport – along with Whyte vs. Povetkin August 22 will be one not to forget.”
For Taylor, her contest against Serrano was discussed as possibly the biggest fight in women’s boxing history. Yet with things falling apart, she could have easily stepped into the ring on August 22nd, against both a lesser known opponent and one who presented fewer dangers. But there would have been no fun in facing someone who most expected her to beat. So instead, Taylor is aiming to take down Persoon once again and clear up any doubt from their previous contest.
“With Amanda Serrano not taking the fight I wanted the biggest fight possible in August. I think a second Persoon fight is one that everyone wants to see,” said Taylor on a recent press release. “I’ve been looking forward to a rematch ever since the first fight and I’m delighted it’s been made. It was definitely very close the first time around, but I felt I deserved the win and I intend to leave no doubts in the rematch.”
Persoon sulked on the night of their first matchup. She believed that she had done more than enough and at the moment, should hold all four Lightweight world titles over her shoulders. Regardless of her loss the first time around though, she’s prepared to hand Taylor the first defeat of her career.
“I am ready to get the victory following the injustice last June in New York,” said Persoon on a recent press release. “Not by words but in the ring – I am ready!”
By: Hans Themistode
Unified Lightweight champion Katie Taylor had been preparing for the fight of life. The undefeated Olympic gold medalist was set to take on seven division world champion Amanda Serrano in what was being called the biggest fight in women’s boxing history.
Making big fights however, has never been easy in the sport of boxing, and with COVID-19 still rampaging through most of the world, Taylor vs Serrano became one of its latest casualties.
Still, even with the deadly virus throwing a monkey wrench in Taylor’s plans, promoter Eddie Hearn is hard at work for a more than worthy replacement.
“We are working hard on the Taylor versus Persoon rematch for August 22,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “Katie wants the biggest fights out there and when Serrano pulled out, Katie immediately asked about the Persoon rematch.”
Throughout Taylor’s four year career, she has been perfect inside of the ring. 15 fighters have stepped up to the plate to face her, but all have fallen short. In the case of her bout against Delfine Persoon however, Taylor was anything but perfect.
Forget about losing fights, Taylor was becoming unfamiliar with losing rounds inside of the squared circle. When she wasn’t scoring highlight reel level knockouts, then she was simply boxing circles around her opponents. Yet, during her 2019 matchup with Person, Taylor found herself in a dog fight. The unified champion was consistently backed up against the ropes for long stretches and outworked.
Taylor’s customarily easy night at the office was anything but that as she bit down on her mouthpiece and fought fire with fire. The end results were the same for Taylor as the judges ruled it unanimously in her favor, but the majority of the crowd inside of Madison Square Garden in New York City, believed that her title reign should have been truncated on the night.
Question marks of whether or not Persoon is the better fighter arose, and now, Hearn is looking to put those thoughts to bed for good.
Taylor vs Persoon is a significant match up, but their proposed rematch date is important as well.
On August 22nd, former multiple time heavyweight title challenger Alexander Povetkin is set to headline a Matchroom card against WBC interim titlist Dillian Whyte.
The notion of two high level fights on the same card has motivated Hearn to make it happen. With that being said though, the fight isn’t a done deal just yet.
“The first fight was one of the best I’ve ever seen live and as a fan. I would love to see it again. Whyte versus Povetkin and Taylor versus Persoon 2 is an epic double header. Let’s see if we can get it done.”
By: Hans Themistode
The sport of boxing has sat back patiently with its hands crossed while it figured out solutions. Fighters were forced from their gyms and fans were banned from arenas due to COVID-19. The reoccurring bad news that appeared on our television screens, made the possibility of the sport returning anytime soon bleak at best. But while fans and boxers groaned and complained during their self quarantine, the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) was hard at work figuring out a solution. And now, it appears they have one.
The BBBoC were malleable in their way of thinking, and have put in place new protocols that will allow boxing to return. Albeit behind closed doors. In addition to the obvious, which is there sporting events will not be open to the public, ring girls, TV announcers and TV cameras will be allowed inside of the ring.
Amongst the long list of guidelines we’ve highlighted the following:
– No spitting allowed in a boxers respective corners
– Masks must be worn by the referee and each teams corner men at all times
– Testing will be done for everyone at the event
While all of these precautions must be met in order for the contest to take place, nothing has been set in stone. Promoters will be given a copy of the new guidelines and will have the opportunity to chime in.
One fight card that has been recently announced as a closed door event that would have to adhere to these new guidelines would be the Heavyweight showdown between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin. Also fighting on the card is undisputed Lightweight titlist Katie Taylor and seven division champion Amanda Serrano. The following week, Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce is supposedly taking place in the U.K as well. While big name fighters such as Anthony Joshua are set to return to the ring against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev shortly after.
If everything goes according to plan, officials would be sitting a minimum of two meters away from one another. Also, anyone over the age of 70, no matter their health condition will not be allowed into the event. Fight fans can also expect to have shorter events as the maximum number of fights that can take place at one given arena will be shrunken down to five.
Again, nothing has been set in stone and the BBBoC has reserved their right to change stances if need be. Still, even with these new guidelines in place, it has done nothing to placate Joe Gallagher, trainer of WBA Super Middleweight champion Callum Smith.
“Why the rush and do things in half measures?” Said Gallagher on Twitter. “Make sure everyone is safe and well and let’s look at getting going in September. Give everyone time to get back training, sparring and make sure everyone is safe.”
Even with the framework and procedures in place, the BBBoC are still in the early stages of their proposal. But with sports such as MMA, Tennis and Nascar returning to our television screens, boxing could soon follow suit.
By: Hans Themistode
Boxing behind closed doors has become the best and quickest way for fight fans to see their favorite fighters back in the ring. It has it’s pros and cons though. The good, things will feel somewhat normal amidst COVID-19, and the entertainment is desperately needed. The bad however, is that without fans dishing out large sums of cash to get up close and personal, it could cause major issues when it comes to making big fights.
Still, for as bad as fans want to watch boxing on their big screens, they really want to see the marquee names go at it. In order for that to happen, one of the more recognizable names in the sport has to take the first step forward. And at the moment, it seems as though we have a couple of volunteers.
“A lot of people think it is difficult for bigger fights to happen behind closed doors,” said promoter Eddie Hearn told The Boxing Show on Sky Sports. But Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin is one of the fights we are planning to stage in the early part of the return, it will take place behind closed doors.”
Whyte of course, was scheduled to take on Povetkin in what was going to be one of the best cards all year. Some would argue that the co main event fight between unified Lightweight titlist Katie Taylor and seven division champion Amanda Serrano was good enough to headline on it’s own. But in today’s day and age, where fight cards seldom have more than one must see fight, this May 2nd event was a welcomed sight.
While most fans would be satisfied with Whyte vs Povetkin, there would be a feeling of disappointment if Taylor vs Serrano didn’t take place. That disappointing feeling however, will soon replaced with satisfaction if Eddie Hearn can somehow find a way to make it happen.
“I don’t know how we’re going to do it yet. But we have to come back with a bang. Whyte vs Povetkin, along with Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano, is a fight that I believe we will see at the end of July or early-August. It’s the biggest fight in women’s boxing,” Hearn said. “Looking at the achievements of Taylor and the growth of women’s boxing? It’s incredible.”
“She is pound-for-pound one of the biggest superstars in the sport. I will try to make it happen on the Whyte vs Povetkin card somehow, somewhere, some way.”
By: Hans Themistode
The sport of boxing has built its name and reputation on big fights.
Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier, Oscar De La Hoya vs Shane Mosley and more recently, Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder have all shaped the sport into what it is today. Simply put, not one year goes by without boxing having several big fights.
Even with so many unforgettable contests littered across the history of the sport, there has always been one glaring omission. A women’s super fight.
Women’s boxing has been around for decades. And much like its male counterpart, it’s had its fair share of big name fighters as well. Christy Marin dominated the 90s, while Laila Ali and Ann Wolfe lead the way in the early 2000s. Fast forward to today, and female fighters such as Claressa Shields, Cecilia Braekhus, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are currently carrying the torch.
For as great as those fighters are, many would love to see them face one another. On May 2nd, fans will finally get what they’ve been waiting for.
Undisputed Lightweight titlist Katie Taylor (15-0, 6 KOs) and seven division champion Amanda Serrano (38-1-1, 28 KOs) have officially come to terms for a mega showdown on the undercard of Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin on May 2nd, at the Manchester Arena.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that this contest is going to take place on an undercard. There is absolutely no doubt that this represents the biggest fight in women’s boxing history.
The intrigue in this contest stretches far beyond their unbelievable professional careers. Before Taylor became a multiple division world champion, she had an impressive run during her amateur career, winning several tournament titles before capping things off with Olympic gold in 2012.
As for Serrano, there’s a reason why she has been linked to just about every big name no matter the weight class. It’s because she has no problem climbing through the divisions in search of a big fight. Her seven division world titles only plays second fiddle to Manny Pacquiao and his record setting eight. In short, if you believe you are the best fighter in your respective weight class, then Serrano has no issues climbing up or down to test you on that theory.
For women’s boxing, this is their Super Bowl, NBA finals and World Series all wrapped into one. Their sport has always played in the shadows. Even with this being the biggest fight that they can produce, it isn’t headlining its own card. In many ways, it is still taking a backseat to its male equivalent.
With that being said, this is the fight that the sport has needed. For as great as Laila Ali and Ann Wolfe were, a showdown between them, although it was very much clamored for, never took place. What would have happened had those two all-time greats actually met inside of the ring? That question will never be answered.
There were a few perceived “Super Fights” but were they really? Ali’s 2003 matchup against Christy Martin took place well past her prime. The 2001 contest between Laila Ali and the daughter of hall of famer Joe Frazier, Jacqui, was not and should not be classified as a “super fight.”
Three division champion, Claressa Shields could make the case for her own super fight which took place in 2019 against then undefeated champion Christina Hammer. Still, that match seems to come up a bit short in terms of a huge contest.
The absence of a female super fight has left a black eye on the sport.
No, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are not as high on the all-time great lists as Ali and Wolfe. Hell, they probably aren’t on the list at all at this point. But make no mistake about it, they will be when it’s all said an done.
It may have taken years, but women’s boxing has the super fight it has been clamoring for.
“It’s a fight that seems to have been talked about for years so I’m just glad it’s finally on,” said Taylor. “It’s a massive fight and one that I have been looking forward to for a long, long time.”