Katie Taylor achieved her long-held goal of unifying the world lightweight championship. She gave to her fans entertaining majority-decision win over Belgium’s Delfine Persoon at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Taylor (14-0, 6 KOs), who entered with the WBA, WBO and IBF titles at 135lbs, survived her toughest moments as a professional to add Persoon’s WBC strap. Ringside judges John Poturaj and Allen Nace scored it 96-94 for Taylor while Don Trella scored it 95-95, as did the Guardian.
“It was a very, very close fight,” an exhausted Taylor said afterward. “I felt like I won the earlier rounds and she came on strong at the end. But I feel like I did enough to win that fight.”
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Persoon (43-2, 18 KOs), fighting on US soil for the first time, went off as a 10-1 underdog but made it immediately clear she wasn’t there to lay down. The 34-year-old skipped right over the feeling-out process and charged right into the pocket, leaving Taylor to fight off the back foot and try to catch her fast-closing opponent on the way in with counters.