Delfine Persoon, defending champion holder of the WBC lightweight title, lost her fight against Olympian Katie Taylor in Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday evening.
The judges’ decision – two for Taylor, one undecided – came in for some criticism, since Persoon was fighting to defend her WBC title, while Taylor holds the title of the other three federations. In normal circumstances, such a close decision would not be enough to rob either boxer of their titles.
The match went to ten rounds, and Persoon took some punishment, including a head-butt to the left eyebrow, according to the correspondent of De Morgen. The Belgian press, it should be said, had devoted some column-inches in the last week to the inconveniences visited upon Persoon, from a blood test to a change of hotel, supposedly to the disadvantage of the Belgian against her Irish opponent. Though it was never clear why an Irish woman should receive the favour of New York authorities above anyone else.
“I need a knockout to win,” Persoon said before the match. It never came.
“It was very close,” Taylor said afterwards. “But I think I did enough to win. Persoon is a great champion. I’ve never had to dig so deep. This was the hardest fight of my career.” She is now ready for a rematch, she said.
Taylor remains undefeated in 14 professional fights. The match was Persoon’s second defeat in 43 professional fights.