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Safely on weight, Taylor and Persoon face off for final time before tomorrow's rematch

The Belgian weighed in almost 2.5lbs heavier than she did for their original scrap, but was comfortably under the 135-pound limit.

Taylor and Persoon square off in front of promoter Eddie Hearn.
Taylor and Persoon square off in front of promoter Eddie Hearn.

UNDISPUTED LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION Katie Taylor and the woman who most hotly contests that mantle, Delfine Persoon, both stepped off the scales having comfortably weighed in beneath the 135-pound limit ahead of their eagerly anticipated rematch on Saturday night.

The Irish icon and Belgian warrior will meet to settle a year-old dispute in the backyard of Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom HQ mansion live on Sky Sports Box Office (pay per view), and all five major titles — as well as the intangible ‘undisputed’ crown — will be on the line once more after challenger Persoon came in at 9st 6lbs 7oz (132.4lbs), and champion Taylor at 9st 8lbs 3oz (134.2lbs).

Both donned safety masks during their final staredown ahead of their eagerly anticipated sequel, Covid-19 tests earlier this week, while negative, providing just one more interruption to fight prep on top of Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) testing and media obligations.

Persoon actually weighed in almost two and a half pounds heavier for the rematch than she did her first scrap with Taylor at Madison Square Garden, New York, last June. Taylor, meanwhile, was fractionally lighter than she was on the eve of their memorable but contentious original battle.

Taylor was awarded that contest by the narrowest possible margin — a 96-94 x2, 95-95 majority decision which was disputed by a majority of viewers. Persoon, meanwhile, says that upon several rewatches, she believes she herself won it by the slenderest margin, six rounds to four (96-94), while also acknowledging that a draw would have been an acceptable outcome.

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Tomorrow’s victor will likely be considered by most to be the pound-for-pound best female boxer on the planet.

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