This weekend sees Ireland’s Katie Taylor 13(6)-0-0 take on Belgium’s Delfine Persoon 43(18)-1(1)-0 in a winner takes all lightweight unification fight. The IBF, WBA, WBC, WBO and the Ring Magazine belts are all up for grabs making this the first time the female lightweight division will be unified. History is going to be made in the historic and iconic venue that is Madison Square garden.
This bout is going to be explosive; the only thing this fight is missing is an under card of its own as this fight should really be the headline act, not an under card bout for Joshua v Ruiz. This fight deserved to be a main event in its own right. Eddie Heard has done wonders for the female boxing status, but going hand in hand with Hearn is Katie Taylor inspiring young ladies to take up the sport she is on course to dominate.
Taylor the Irish Olympic gold medalist comes into this fight on the back of some major victories having dispatched the previously undefeated Rose Volante by TKO and Eva Wahlstrom by UD. Also on her record is Jessica McCaskill who since her only lose to date at the hands of Taylor has went on to win the WBA and WBC World Female super lightweight titles. These are the kinds of fighters Taylor has been up against and each time she has raised her game to another level. She may have only thirteen fights to her name but from her last seven fights, six have been against world champions.
In contrast Persoon has been fighting mostly silver belt holders or interim champions. These fighters are still high enough quality but are not in the same league as Taylor. This will be Persoon’s second ever bout outside her native Belgium which could take a few weeks to adjust to with jet lag and different time zones etc. But more worryingly for Persoon is the fact she is a part time boxer with a full time job to contend with. Although she is using built up overtime hours and holiday hours to train for this fight, Taylor boxes full time and will be used to the high training levels, Persoon might not have enough time to adjust to the increase.
From my tone you can gauge I am expecting Taylor to win, but things may not be so easy for Taylor, as although Taylor has fought the harder opponents in my opinion, Persoon has fought and beat some hard ladies also in the form of Frances current IBF World Female Super Featherweight champion Maiva Hamadouche, whom I rate very highly, and Greek national and current WBO World Female Super Lightweight champion Christina Linardaou. Persoon is also four inches taller than Taylor and boasts of having more knock outs (18) than Taylor has had bouts (13).
To conclude I think this will be a very good fight which deserves to be the main event, but I believe Taylor will be more at ease in front of a partisan Irish crowd, whilst Persoon could be overwhelmed by the occasion. In my opinion, this will be Taylor’s hardest fight to date and she will be made to work hard for her win, but a win is what she will have when the dust settles, with all four belts to her name and a place in the history books.
This fight is promoted by Salita Promotions, Greg Cohen Promotions, Matchroom and is televised by Sky box office (UK), Canal Space (Latin America) and Onda Sports (Panama Cable).