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Dublin: 3°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

It's on: Katie Taylor lands dream fight with rival Persoon for undisputed lightweight championship

Taylor has previously claimed that beating Persoon for all the marbles would be on a par with winning Olympic gold in 2012.

Katie Taylor celebrates her world-title unification victory over Rose Volante in March.
Katie Taylor celebrates her world-title unification victory over Rose Volante in March.
Image: Tom Hogan/INPHO

KATIE TAYLOR WILL fight Belgium’s Delfine Persoon for the undisputed and Ring Magazine lightweight world titles at Madison Square Garden on 1 June, it has been confirmed.

The 32-year-old Bray woman holds three of the four major world titles at lightweight, Persoon being the owner of the other, and so the victor in New York will be considered the unequivocal ruler of the 135-pound division — and only the third undisputed champion in female boxing history.

The prestigious Ring Magazine belt, which has traditionally recognised ‘the’ champion in each division, will also be awarded to the winner of what will be one of the biggest fights in the history of the female code.

Taylor-Persoon will take place on the Anthony Joshua-Jarrell Miller card in the ‘Mecca of Boxing’. The42 understands it will likely act as chief support to the men’s heavyweight world-title clash.

Taylor [13-0, 6KOs] produced a career-best performance in Philadelphia on Patrick’s weekend, battering the game Rose Volante to claim her third world title.

A week prior, Persoon [43-1, 18KOS] had held up her end of the bargain as she pummeled the highly regarded Melissa St Vil into submission in her native Belgium.

The pair have been on a collision course ever since Taylor turned professional in 2016, with the Irish icon recently claiming that beating Persoon for the undisputed championship would be on a par with her Olympic gold medal at London 2012.

Speaking upon the fight’s confirmation, WBA, IBF and WBO champion Taylor said: “It’s great that she has finally signed for the fight and I’m delighted that Eddie has been able to make it.

“After my fight last month I went back home for a week but then it was straight back to Connecticut to start the hard work in training camp for this fight.

“When I turned professional my first goal was to win a world title but then my next priority was to become undisputed champion, so obviously this fight gives me the opportunity to do that so it’s massive for my career.

Women’s boxing is in such great place right now and these are the kind of super-fights that will really take it to new heights. Persoon is recognised as one of the best in the world pound-for-pound and has been the WBC champ now for over five years, so it’s the best against the best. Madison Square Garden seems like the perfect setting for a fight of this magnitude.

Katie Taylor celebrates Taylor celebrates with her three world titles after vanquishing Rose Volante. Source: Tom Hogan/INPHO

“This is a very unique opportunity for me and I’m thankful we’ve got the fight made,” said Persoon. “I did not have the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Games and now I get the chance to compete with the Olympic champion in Katie Taylor.

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.

“This is it – this is everything, the absolute pinnacle of the sport,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “The dream is on, the undisputed championship and I can’t wait to see this fight on 1 June.

This is the toughest test of Katie’s amateur and pro career, two pound-for-pound greats putting it all on the line at the Mecca of Boxing – the atmosphere is going to be something else.

- Originally published at 14.34

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