The 2nd act following their 2019 tussle was as entertaining a fight, with both combatants once again showing the grizzled resolve of a lioness protecting her young. Well this time around, 🥇🇮🇪Katie Taylor (15-0-0, 6KO👊) made it definitive, and put together a better rounded performance from start to finish, outpointing 🇧🇪Delfine Persoon’s (44-3-0, 18KO👊) despite her non-stop efforts to gain ground over the decorated Champion.
Though by proxy, Katie came into the fight as an Undisputed Champion, she can now say it without any dispute surrounding the contest, and retains her ♛RING/WBA/WBC/WBO/IBF Lightweight World Titles.
Early on Katie Taylor got the attention of Persoon early, staggering her with a 💥1-2 combination. It seemed to wake Persoon up, as she let her hands go in her mauling style of attack, trying to give Taylor no room to breathe during exchanges. Katie in this fight was doing a better job of stepping back, to time Persoon as she started her attack, which put her in better preparation defensively, also putting her in better positioning to fire off counter hooks and crosses.
Persoon’s right cheek ballooned big time after the second round as a cut was opened by one of Taylor’s check-left hooks. Persoon got away with a lot of holding and hitting in the third round, but Katie kept her cool. Persoon landed a couple of powerful right hands that somewhat stunned Taylor, slowing down her push forward temporarily.
Katie Taylor’s head-movement in this contest was superb, never giving Persoon a 🎯still-target to hit, and made the Belgium fighter miss, and miss often. In the 4th round, Taylor made Persoon miss all of a a 5 punch combination, then belted her with a beautiful sharp counter right hand. Taylor’s jab in the middle rounds started to throw Delfine’s rhythm a bit off, so Katie started to work accordingly off of that jab. The 5th round featured some blistering back and forth action, resembling the first fight in terms of activity, and intestinal fortitude exuded by both high caliber prizefighters.
Persoon since the onset of the fight had her best round in the 6th round due to her work volume, combinations and connect percentage – nothing flashy, but very effective work done to keep her in the fight, and causing a massive welt to surface on Taylor’s forehead that looked like a grotesque mass post-fight. With the enhanced 🎙️microphone setting at “Fight Camp”, you could really hear how tired both fighters were after high octane action in the 7th round. Katie was clearly ahead on the cards at this point, but the peril of danger taking place in the flow of the fight was reminiscent of the first fight, as Persoon was once again maniacal on her pursuit to throw punches, and get physical with the decorated World Champion.
In round 8, Persoon strung together her best combinations, adding to the drama and she stepped up her pace of action with effectiveness. To endure the onslaught, Taylor decided to plant her feet and slug it out with Persoon at angles to try and slow Persoon down, but didn’t work that well down the stretch of this round.
Katie got back to her advantages in he 9th stanza, 📌sticking and moving, turning the taller opponent repeatedly, and using Persoon’s clumsy footwork against her. Taylor also put something extra on her counter-shots, landing some eye-popping shots for the judges, but Persoon took it well, a great chin that she has at her possession to pair with her all-out mindset.
Coming down to the final round, the left hook was Katie Taylor’s best friend, and landed it often and clean to a willing target. Persoon gave 150% effort, firing at every angle, every punch at every target she deemed open, landing enough to make the climax of this epic to the 🛎️final bell, as Taylor also dug deep to throw some of her hardest punches of the fight in the last 15 seconds of the contest.
For the second time, an encounter between Delfine Persoon and Katie Taylor was driven to the scorecards. Both fighters had a look of worry on their face (just like the first fight) as Ring-Announcer 🎤David Diamante was reviewing the cards that were handed to him. By way of Unanimous Decision, Katie Taylor was awarded the victor, and his time around, there was no protest from Delfine Persoon and her people. Unlike the first time around, there was class exuded from both fighters (Persoon had a legitimate case to beef the first time around), and during the post-fight interview, Persoon felt like the judging this time around was fair and accurate.
Persoon indicated that Taylor may have broken her nose in the 2nd round, which is amazing given that she never let up on the gas pedal pushing forward. Persoon also stated that she may permanently dip back down to Super-Featherweight, citing it as her more natural weight, and using it as an unwarranted excuse that ⚖️weight was an issue, considering that she held and defended the multiple versions of Lightweight Titles a total of 13 times. Persoon congratulated Taylor on the victory, and Taylor was gracious in accepting her words.
OFFICIAL SCORECARDS ✎
✎ Victor Loughlin = 98 – 93 for KATIE TAYLOR
✎ John Latham = 96 – 94 for KATIE TAYLOR
✎ Mark Lyson = 96 – 94 for KATIE TAYLOR
PROJECT COMBAT SCORECARDS ✎
✎ Tré Berry = 97 – 93 for KATIE TAYLOR
✎ Jon Uddin = 96 – 94 for KATIE TAYLOR