On June 1, 2019, on the under card of an Anthony Joshua world heavyweight championship fight at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York, New York, USA, 34-year-old Define Persoon (43-1, 18 KOs) of Roeselare, Belgium, will battle Katie Taylor, 32, (13-0, 6 KOs) of Bray, Ireland, for the undisputed world women’s lightweight title. The bout is to be televised on DAZN in the United States and Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom.
Promoter Eddie Hearn said of the Persoon vs. Taylor title fight, “This is it — this is everything, the absolute pinnacle of the sport. The dream is on, the undisputed championship and I can’t wait to see this fight on June 1.” The announcement comes just days after Claressa Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) won the undisputed world women’s middleweight title by defeating Christina Hammer (24-1, 11 KOs) in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Taylor, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games Gold Medalist in the lightweight division, has flourished the professional ranks now boasting the IBF, WBA, and WBO world titles at 135 pounds whereas Persoon has donned the WBC title around her waist since lifting the strap from Erica Anabella Farias (UD-10) in April 2014. Persoon has successfully defended the WBC nine times over that five-year span which includes an eleven-month absence from the ring in 2017 to recover from a hand injury. She also held the EBU title briefly in 2011, the IBF title in 2012, and the WIBF title from 2012-13 (2 defenses).
The winner is to become the undisputed world lightweight champion and secure the newly-created Ring Magazine lightweight title belt which signifies the lineal champion of the division and join Claressa Shields (middleweight) and Cecilia Braekhus (welterweight) as the only undisputed champions in women’s boxing.
Speaking after her win over Rose Volante last month, Taylor said, “That’s the fight that I want next. It’s always been my goal to become the undisputed champion, I’ve got three belts now and one to go.”
For the long-time champion Persoon, it is only the second time that she has fought outside of the comfortable confines of her native Belgium and the first fight outside of Europe. In 2015, Persoon defended her WBC lightweight title successfully for the second time with a stoppage victory over Nicole Boss (TKO-9) in Bern, Switzerland. Taylor is no stranger to the “City that Never Sleeps” as this is her fourth bout in New York and her second at Madison Square Garden.
“I expect this will be a very tough and honest fight, and that the best boxer may win this title fight – and I expect that to be me,” said Persoon ahead of the fight.
Persoon is a forward-moving volume puncher who relies on the right-cross and aggression as her primary weapons. When opponents move in a straight line against her, she accurately counters with the right hand. She’s greater than the sum of her parts and is equally proficient against boxers and bangers. It is essential that Persoon cuts off Taylor’s lateral movement forcing Taylor to exchange when she wants to evade. Persoon should occupy Taylor with a high punch volume, so Taylor is concerned more about defense than counter punching.
Taylor is an aggressive counter-puncher with ambush fighter tendencies. Her speed of hand and foot is on an elite level. If you watch her fight with Jessica McCaskill or the last two rounds of the Victoria Bustos fight, the blueprint is there on how to fight Taylor. You have to crowd her and put her on the defensive.
Durability: Even *Persoon was stopped early in her career.
Intangibles: Taylor * Taylor has fought in New York before and is generally considered the A-side in this match up.
Best win: Taylor (Bustos) Persoon (Farias)
Prediction: Taylor UD-10 Persoon 6-4, 7-3 in rounds.
Boxingjones.com Top Five at Lightweight:
1- Katie Taylor (Ireland)
2- Delfine Persoon (Belgium)
3- Chantelle Cameron (England)
4- Terri Harper (England)
5- Rose Volante (Brazil)
Promoter: Eddie Hearn (Matchroom Boxing)
Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York.
Rounds 10, 2-minute rounds.
Mark A. Jones
Delfine Persoon: HLN.BE.com
Katie Taylor: Sky Sports
Poster: DAZN USA