Katie Taylor edged out Amanda Serrano to retain her undisputed Lightweight crown in an epic fight for the ages at a sold-out Madison Square Garden in New York City
Taylor controlled the opening rounds, but Serrano came on strong in the fifth and had her fans on her feet as she seemed to hurt the Irish legend and the roof came off the sold out arena as they traded heavy blows, but Serrano seemed to be getting on top.
If the fifth round was exciting, the sixth blew it out of the water as Taylor threw everything she had at the Brooklyn ace who fired back in kind. Taylor seemed to regain her composure despite the heavy shots she’d taken as rounds seven and eight came and went with the defending champion picking her shots and trying to resist going toe-to-toe with the heavy-handed Puerto Rican.
Both fighters knew the bout was in the balance and served up a stunning final two minutes, and after the crowd roared their appreciation for being lucky enough to witness an unforgettable and history-making night, it was Taylor whose hand was raised by split decision (97-93, 96-93 and 94-96).
“What a fighter Amanda Serrano is – I think we are both great fighters,” said Taylor. “Look what we have just done, selling out Madison Square Garden, the biggest venue in boxing history.
“Both of us have broken so many barriers in her careers. It feels great to be in this position really! Amazing fight. What a night!
“I knew exactly how deep I had to dig in this fight. I knew going into it that I was going to be in the trenches at some stage. She’s a phenomenal fighter and a great, great person.
“I was listening to my trainer and I’m so grateful for Ross. Thank you for everything. You’re such a humble guy but you’re the best in the world.”
Liam Smith signaled his intentions to rule the Super-Welterweight division once again, becoming the first man to stop Jessie Vargas in a pulsating chief support.
Such was the all-action opening half, Smith was cut in third round over right eye and Vargas cut in the fifth as both men came out firing. The tide began to turn in Smith’s favor as the halfway mark approached and poured on the pressure, landing heavy artillery on the Vegas man who somehow stayed on his feet, surviving an especially sustained attack in the ninth round.
The referee inspected the former two-weight World champion and deemed him ok to carry on, but Smith took up the attack once again and although Vargas gamely tried to stay in the contest, his corner was ready to pull their man out inside a minute of the tenth round before the referee stepped in, crowning Smith the WBO Intercontinental champion and putting the rest of the division on notice.
In the first undisputed fight of the night, all the Super-Middleweight titles will stay in America after Franchon Crews-Dezurn saw off the brave Elin Cederroos. The twice cancelled battle between the pair was well worth the wait, with Cederroos showing immense heart to keep going in the contest despite bleeding heavily from the nose from the third round. Crews-Dezurn outworked the Swede and being roared on by her friend Claressa Shields, the Baltimore star took all the marbles on the scorecards 99-91, 99-91 and 97-93.
It is going to be hard to keep Gamal Yafai away from World title action even this early in his career, as the British Olympic Gold medal man took just two rounds to dismantle Miguel Cartagena and successfully defend his WBC International Super-Flyweight title in his second pro fight and first on American soil.
The early action in the night saw Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams show more of his trademark ferocity, pummeling the unbeaten \The night began with talented trio Reshat Mati, SkyeNicolson and Khalil Coe all recording points wins.
Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are set to make history in an epic battle for Taylor’s undisputed Lightweight title at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, April 30 live worldwide on DAZN – and Taylor is thrilled to be part of shining the brightest ever light on women’s boxing.
Taylor and Serrano will become the first female fighters to headline ‘The World’s Most Famous Arena’ in its 140-year history in the process. Irish favorite Taylor (20-0 6 KOs) puts her 135lbs hardware on the line for the sixth time in the Big Apple and does so against seven-weight champion Serrano (42-1-1 30 KOs), the Puerto Rican ace and Brooklyn native.
Both fighters can proudly state that they have played huge roles in the recent rise in popularity for women’s boxing, and when they step through the ropes at the famous arena in ten days’ time, they smash through yet another glass ceiling and showcase women’s boxing on the grandest of stages.
“This is just a special occasion for me, to headline a huge fight like this at Madison Square Garden,” said Taylor. “It’s being billed as the biggest fight in female boxing history. This is just incredible and a real privilege for me.
“I love being involved in these kinds of fights. These are the challenges that I’ve always wanted. I don’t think I’ve ever backed down from any challenge. I’ve wanted to face the very best.
“Amanda Serrano is a fantastic fighter, she’s a great champion and she’s not here for no reason. She deserves this opportunity as well. She’s been pioneering her own way and that’s why this fight is the best in female boxing history. We have champion versus champion. The best versus the best and this is why this fight is so special.
“This fight is at Madison Square Garden, the most iconic venue in boxing. The Mecca of boxing, really. You think of Madison Square Garden, and you think the likes of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier these kinds of fights.
“It’s definitely a 50-50 fight. I think that a lot of people will have me, and a lot of people will have her before the fight. I love being involved in these kinds of fights.
“This fight is genuinely the biggest fight in boxing as a whole right now!
“It’s years and years later we’re still talking Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier kind of fights. I think years and years later from this fight people are still going to be talking about Katie Taylor versus Amanda Serrano.
“I feel very privileged to be in this position and to be an inspiration to the next generation and to have those young girls look up to me. It’s a huge responsibility as well and I want to set a great example for these young girls coming up. I want to give them hope and I want them to know thy dreams they have in their hearts can be possible.”
“Growing up I had to pretend I was a boy to get fights. I had the headgear on, and my hair tucked into the headgear. They just had my name down as K. Taylor and obviously when the headgear came off there was an uproar because all the judges and officials saw I was a girl.
“I don’t grave the attention or crave the media attention. I don’t want to be famous; I just want to be the best boxer in the world.
“I’m also very grateful for the women that went before me – the likes of Christy Martin and Deirdre Gogarty, Lucia Rijker, Laila Ali who were pioneers in their sport. I don’t think that I’d be in the position I’m in today if it wasn’t for all those girls who went before me. I’m obviously very grateful for those who went before me.”
Taylor-Serrano will have a star-studded supporting cast when Jessie Vargas and Liam Smith meet in a must-win battle at Super-Welterweight and there is more undisputed action on the card as Franchon Crews-Dezurn and Elin Cederroos decide who is the top dog at 168lbs.
Olympic Gold medal star Galal Yafai makes his American debut and defends his WBC International Flyweight Title against Miguel Cartagena in his second pro fight, Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams is in a tough test with fellow unbeaten Middleweight Chordale Booker, Reshat Mati is always popular in his home city and the ‘Albanian Bear’ meets Joe Eli Hernandez over eight rounds, Australia’s Skye Nicolson fights for the second time as a pro against Shanecqua Paisley Davis over six rounds and Light-Heavyweight talent Khalil Coe makes the short trip from Jersey City to face William Langston over six.
Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are set to make history in an epic battle for Taylor’s undisputed Lightweight title at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, April 30 live on DAZN.
Recently, Amanda Serrano opened training camp and welcomed young people from the Garden of Dreams Foundation and SCO Family Services. Amanda, along with actor Rosie Perez, welcomed the group before Serrano displayed her training routine and welcomed 12-year-old Jamiyah Lee from Bed-Stuy into the ring for one-on-one instruction.
Radio City Rockette Taylor Shimko was also in attendance to learn boxing techniques from the seven-division world champion.
Amanda Serrano quotes:
“It’s truly surreal, I’m excited to be in there with another great fighter … undefeated, undisputed champion, Katie Taylor. I’m over the moon.”
“Every other day me and my team just wanted to hang it up and say, ‘it’s not going to happen’ but, it’s the love of the sport – you keep pushing, you keep hoping that one day it’s going to change.”
“Being a Latina from Brooklyn, from Bushwick, I’m excited to say I made it. I never thought I would be able to but, I’m fighting the main event at Madison Square Garden! Who thought that in a million years? I’m making seven figures, a young Latina from Brooklyn. I never thought it could happen.”
“When I turned professional, I never thought I would be someone who is breaking down barriers for women. I kept pushing, I kept fighting and slowly but surely, it’s coming along.”
“We have to fight ten-times harder than the men because we’re just not fighting for ourselves. We are fighting for the recognition, we are fighting for the acknowledgement, we are fighting for equality.”
“I hope that we show that we can perform, that we can bring people to the seats, we can bring excitement to the sport of boxing and I’m just hoping it’s not the last time women get this recognition, acknowledgement and pay.”
“Rosie (Perez) has been in my corner from the very beginning. She’s a proud Boricua, Latina and she is just a great supporter for any female athlete. She is a huge boxing fan … and she has always encouraged me to be the best person I can be and the best athlete. When I found out where we were fighting and how much we were making I knew she was smiling and rooting for us and supporting us.”
Rosie Perez quotes:
“When I see Amanda Serrano step into the ring April 30 at Madison Square Garden, I think I’m going to be in tears. I’m going to be screaming “Boricua” and I think half of The Garden will be screaming the same.”
“When someone says Amanda Serrano, I think of a champion. I think of a young woman who is dedicated to her sport. Who’s been knocked around outside the ring in regard to lesser pay, who’s going to have her moment of her career come April 30 at Madison Square Garden.”
“It’s just so exciting. I’m so happy for her. She’s going to rock The Garden.”
Years in the making, the biggest fight ever in women’s boxing between the pound-for-pound #1 and #2 fighters of the world is one that will not only make boxing history, but women’s sports history. MSG has hosted thousands of fights through its illustrious years, beginning more than a century ago on July 17, 1882; now, 140 years later, this matchup finally marks the very first time two female fighters are headlining a boxing event at the iconic venue.
Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are set to make history in an epic battle for Taylor’s undisputed Lightweight title at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday April 30, live worldwide on DAZN.
Years in the making, the biggest fight ever in women’s boxing between the pound-for-pound #1 and #2 fighters of the world is one that will not only make boxing history, but women’s sports history. MSG has hosted thousands of fights through its illustrious years, beginning more than a century ago on July 17, 1882; now, 140 years later, this matchup finally marks the very first time two female fighters are headlining a combat sports event at ‘The World’s Most Famous Arena’.
Irish icon Taylor (20-0 6 KOs) puts all the Lightweight belts on the line for the sixth time since winning them in June 2019 in a war with Delfine Persoon and seeing off the Belgian in a rematch in England before repelling the challenges of Miriam Gutierrez, Natasha Jonas, Jennifer Han and Firuza Sharipova – and there’s added spice to the fight as Taylor holds a win over Amanda’s sister Cindy in Boston back in October 2018.
Puerto Rican sensation Serrano (42-1-1 30 KOs) already has an unrivalled legacy in the sport as a seven-weight World champion. The Brooklyn based champion enters the momentous bout in sparkling form after knocking out Daniela Bermudez last March, dominating Yamileth Mercado in August and overpowering Miriam Gutierrez in two separate cards co-starring Jake Paul. Amanda was the 2021 Female Fighter of the Year for DAZN, ESPN and WBC among others.
“This is a fight I’ve wanted for a long, long time and I’m just excited for it to finally take place because these are the kind of fights I’m in the sport for,” said Taylor. “People have been talking about this fight for years and there have been times I wondered if it was ever going to happen so I’m very grateful to Eddie Hearn, everyone at Matchroom, DAZN and Madison Square Garden for getting it over the line.
“When I turned professional my goal was to be involved in huge events like this so to headline at Madison Square Garden in a fight of this magnitude is really the pinnacle of the sport. It’s such an iconic venue and has been home to so many of the historic moments in boxing and I truly believe this will be another one.”
“It is a dream come true to have the opportunity to headline Madison Square Garden and do so against one of the greatest boxers of all time in Katie Taylor,” said Serrano. “Since I was a young girl, my only boyfriend has been boxing. I have dedicated my life to him, and this event makes that commitment worth every minute. On April 30th I am going to make history for me, for my team, for my family, for Puerto Rico, for every Latina and Latino and for all women worldwide.”
From the moment Katie Taylor stepped into my office, this is the moment we always dreamed of,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “The moment the world would stop and watch and watch the two greatest female fighters on the planet headline at the Mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden.
“Taylor vs. Serrano is a fight for the history books. Yes, it’s the by far the biggest female fight of all time but it’s also one of the biggest fights of all time, the undisputed World and Olympic champion against the seven division World champion.
“Both fighters deserve credit for getting this fight made, as does Jake Paul and his team at Most Valuable Promotions, DAZN and Madison Square Garden – together we’re going to put on a special night in New York and create a fitting spectacle for these trailblazers to shine.”
“We are honored to be a part of this historic event, headlined by two historically dominant women. Bringing attention to women’s boxing has been a priority for us and Saturday April 30th is a major milestone for not just the sport but girls globally who deserve equal opportunity,” said Jake Paul and Nakisa Bidarian, Co-Founders of Most Valuable Promotions. “We expect a battle for the ages and have the utmost respect and admiration for Katie Taylor. But make no mistake, we are standing next to Amanda Serrano and know she will prove to the world that she is the pound-for-pound greatest female boxer to ever enter the ring. This is more than a fight, this is for forever.”
“This is without question the biggest fight ever in women’s boxing,” said Ed Breeze, DAZN EVP, Rights. “Katie Taylor is a trailblazer in the sport, with a perfect amateur record and pivotal in catapulting women’s boxing into the mainstream. Serrano is a true legend and will be Taylor’s toughest test to date. This fight will be spectacular and also one for the history books, and we’re thrilled to deliver this exciting moment in boxing and sports history to DAZN subscribers across the world.”
Jessica McCaskill will be glued to DAZN tomorrow afternoon – hoping Katie Taylor defeats Delfine Persoon in Essex, UK to set up a blockbuster rematch.
McCaskill (9-2 3 KOs) added another chapter to her incredible story last weekend, ripping the titles from Cecilia Brækhus on the streets of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma to shatter the Norwegian’s dreams of breaking Joe Louis’ longstanding record of successful World title defenses.
The Chicagoan now stands as a two-weight World ruler after just 11 pro fights, a remarkable feat but one that McCaskill is not ready to settle for.
The 35 year old first dipped her toe at World title level against Taylor in December 2017, pushing the Irish sensation all the way in the first defense of her World Lightweight title, a performance that boosted the confidence of McCaskill and led to her becoming World Super-Lightweight champion the following October and then unifying that division.
McCaskill was ringside in New York when Taylor and Persoon shared a thrilling battle for Taylor’s Lightweight straps in front of a sold-out Madison Square Garden, and while there will be no-one present as Fight Camp comes to a close in the grounds of Matchroom HQ, McCaskill will join millions on the edge of their seats at home as the pair do battle once again.
“I want Katie to win,” said McCaskill. “Katie is one of the biggest fights for me outside of a Cecilia rematch. We just have to go to the drawing board and figure it out. I hope to fight before the end of the year, but we have to see how Katie gets out of this fight. If she’s cut or anything like that it will take longer with suspensions but I’d love to fight before the end of the year. I am already back in the gym so I am staying ready.
“I almost knocked Katie out with a left hook. I felt that I was on the world class level and I proved it. If Katie had lost that fight to me, I don’t think Eddie would have kept pouring money into women’s boxing the way he has. He was so invested in Katie and he still is. So I am OK with the outcome. We have both led successful career paths from there and I think there should be a rematch.
“Something like Wembley Stadium where there are 100,000 fans, if that’s even possible in the times that we are in right now, then of course that is something we wouldn’t pass up. Our preference is to have the fight in the states since the first fight was in the U.K. This one should probably in the U.S.
“If it was in Chicago, it would be insanity. It would be massive. It’s funny because when you ask those questions, you just ask yourself, ‘Well where are the numbers for COVID-19 at?’ I’d love for it to be in Chicago but it doesn’t need to be in Chicago. So many people travel to see these fights – they travel to see Katie, they travel to see me. New York would be the hub for that. I was at her fight with Delfine in New York and I met so many fans from Canada, Australia, the U.K.”
“Sometimes with boxing, they wait too long and the opportunity is gone for one reason or another. I don’t think waiting is the answer. If we don’t have fans, we don’t have fans. We will both experience with fighting without fans now. I don’t think it will be an issue. I love my fans and I’d love to have them there with me but then again, I think everyone has DAZN by now.
“I was at the first fight in New York. I think it was a really close fight, I thought it was going to be a draw. Katie had the belts, I didn’t think they’d give it to Delfine. I know Delfine is aggressive. Katie wanted to prove something and she came out with the win but that probably wasn’t the smartest plan because she has all the tools to beat her.”
McCaskill certainly had the tools to beat Brækhus last weekend, and reflecting on that fight, and on the anniversary of her pro debut five years ago tomorrow, McCaskill expects to face the former champion in a rematch later this year.
“I think Cecilia will come back for the rematch,” said McCaskill. “In two weeks or so, I think she will realize that you can’t take the fight out of a fighter and she will want to try to get these belts back. She had them for so long and I think that hunger will be there.
“I could tell at the stare down that her breathing was uneven, and she seemed off. She seemed nervous. I don’t know, maybe she had a tough weight cut or something, but I could read her energy was off in the bubble.
“It was an ugly fight, but I knew I had to give it my all and take it to her. I thought she was going to jab and move a lot more. We had practiced a lot more for both of those. But then in the first minute, she started to dive in, and I knew that was exactly what I wanted so I increased my output. When it comes to punch count, I just have a high work rate, so I am not just trying to outwork her, I am just trying to keep my own work rate high.
“This win broadens my fan base massively. It puts me at a level that people will learn my name. If I’m not a household name now, I hope to become one. I hope my trainer gets ‘Trainer of the Year.’ I came into work on Monday, I checked some emails. That’s just in me to have a certain work rate. At some point, we might sit down with Matchroom so I can step away from my day job to focus more on boxing and these world title fights.
“Every fight from here on out is for a belt. We can’t move backward. You can’t demand top-notch when you are giving low quality. The females need to learn the business side of boxing and keep pushing for the biggest and best fights.”
Photo: Matchroom Boxing
Katie Taylor says she will silence her critics by putting on a “dominant performance” when she defends her WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Titles against Delfine Persoon in a huge rematch at Matchroom Fight Camp this Saturday August 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.
The undefeated Irish star (15-0, 6 KOs) captured the WBC crown with a majority-decision victory last June in New York, which was greeted with dismay by Belgium’s Persoon after ten thrilling rounds that had the MSG crowd on their feet throughout, and they will renew their rivalry this weekend in the biggest women’s rematch in the history of the sport.
Taylor is looking to get a more definitive win over Persoon before moving on to further legacy fights as she continues to cement herself as one of the best female fighters of all time. A second fight with newly-crowned Undisputed Welterweight ruler Jessica McCaskill could be on the cards after the American caused a huge upset against long-reigning champion Cecilia Braekhus over the weekend.
“I’m in this sport to create history and leave a great legacy,” said Taylor. “These are the kind of fights that are going to leave a great legacy in my career. The first fight was too close for my liking. It has been hanging over my head over the last year, so I was delighted when the rematch was nailed down. I’m looking forward to putting on a more dominant performance on August 22nd and shutting up everyone that has criticised me over the last year.
“I did watch the fight back and it was obviously a very close fight. That’s why there is a rematch. I definitely couldn’t have given her more than five rounds, so for people to say it was a disgraceful decision or it was a robbery, is a disgrace in itself. I felt like I deserved to win the fight even though it was very close. I wanted this rematch. At the end of the day, I want to be involved in the biggest fights and the fights that people are interested in. This is a huge fight for me and for Persoon. It’s a huge fight for the sport.
“I think I’m going to be a completely different fighter on August 22nd. I think people are going to see a completely different performance and a completely different fight from my perspective. I got drawn into a bit of a fight in the first one and sometimes that happens. I’m definitely going to be a bit more disciplined in this fight. I’m going to be ready for whatever Persoon throws at me. I’m completely prepared for this fight. I’ve been training for a big fight since January so I’m more than ready to step in and put on a dominant performance.”
Taylor vs. Persoon 2 lands on a huge night of action that sees Dillian Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) defend his Interim WBC Heavyweight World Title against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs), Luther Clay (13-1, 5 KOs) defends his WBO Global Welterweight Title against Chris Kongo (11-0, 6 KOs), Super-Middleweights Jack Cullen (18-2, 9 KOs) and Zak Chelli (7-1, 3 KOs) meet over eight rounds and Croatian Heavyweight contender Alen Babic (3-0, 3 KOs) steps up to face Shawndell Winters (13-3, 12 KOs) over eight rounds.
Photo: Mark Robinson/Matchroom
Jessica McCaskill wants to tee up a blockbuster rematch with Katie Taylor by ending the reign of undisputed World Welterweight champion Cecilia Brækhus on the streets of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday August 15, live on DAZN.
McCaskill (8-2 3 KOs) first gained attention when she travelled to London to take on Taylor in December 2017 to be the first challenger for Taylor’s WBA World Lightweight title, pushing the Irish sensation all the way in a grueling contest.
The Chicagoan dusted herself off and used that experience to great effect in her next outing, welcoming WBC Super-Lightweight champion Erica Farias to the Windy City in October 2018 in the first Matchroom and DAZN show in the US, and McCaskill ripped the title from the Argentine to become World champion in just her eighth pro fight.
McCaskill then unified the Super-Lightweight division in Maryland in May 2019 against WBA champion Anahi Sanchez before inviting Farias back for a rematch and triumphing once again to defend the titles, and now strives for greatness once again against Brækhus (36-0 9 KOs).
The Norwegian is hunting history as she looks to pass Joe Louis 72 year record of 25 straight successful World championship defenses, but McCaskill has her own legacy in mind ahead of the Tulsa tussle, and wants to extend her sensational run of form in the biggest night of her career to date.
“I would love the Taylor rematch and a chance to get my revenge, and definitely in a place like Wembley Stadium on a huge bill,” said McCaskill. “If we have fans again that stadium has 100,000 people and that’s the kind of crowd that needs to be at that kind of fight. I have my eyes on Taylor and I want that fight.
“Going to the UK for the Taylor fight, I didn’t know what to expect but it turns out that we have a ton of fans in the UK. I still hear from the UK fans on a regular basis and from the airport to the hotel to the venue, there were so many people that reached out and showed love to me and my team. Katie said that people were scared to fight her and of course, we weren’t, we took it and we learned that we were at that level.”
In order for the Taylor rematch to materialize, not only does McCaskill need to beat Brækhus but Taylor needs to get past Belgian foe Delfine Persoon at Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp in Essex, England next Saturday in a rematch of their epic battle in New York in June 2019.
Taylor and Persoon’s second meeting is the third huge women’s World title action in as many weeks following the fight of the year contender between Terri Harper and Natasha Jonas at Fight Camp on Saturday, and McCaskill expects both her clash with Brækhus and the Taylor-Persoon rematch to continue the high quality of the action between boxing’s elite female fighters.
“I was in New York for the first Taylor-Persoon fight and it was massive,” said McCaskill. “There was a lot of contact and it was a lesson for Taylor that you cannot take people lightly, it was a close fight and she could’ve been on the wrong side of the result. I think the second fight will be another classic.
“There are a lot of people that are responsible for the rise of female boxing. Eddie Hearn has put a lot of money into female boxing and DAZN has been a great platform for us to perform on.
“The Taylor fight was probably meant to be that way, nobody knew who we were, our background and our history, winning that fight could have probably massively disrupted the growth of women’s boxing. I don’t think anyone would’ve put a lot of money into me not knowing who I was. So, after Taylor won that fight, they put a lot of time and effort into Taylor and things developed from there.”
Brækhus-McCaskill tops the bill on a massive night of action in the unique setting of the downtown Tulsa streets as Matchroom return Stateside.
Rising Super-Welterweight Israil Madrimov (5-0 5 KOs) can close in on World title honors as he meets Eric Walker (20-2 9 KOs) in a final eliminator for the WBA World title while Madrimov’s fellow countryman Shakhram Giyasov (
Katie Taylor defends her WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Titles against Delfine Persoon on Saturday August 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Taylor (15-0, 6 KOs) completed her fairy-tale journey from Olympic Gold to Undisputed Lightweight World Champion with a thrilling but controversial points win over Belgium’s Persoon on a historical night at the world-famous Madison Square Garden on the Joshua vs. Ruiz bill last year.
After a bloody and brutal battle that captivated the New York crowd, the Irish star added Persoon’s WBC belt to her IBF, WBO and WBA Titles to hold all four at 135lbs and cement her place as the number one Lightweight on the planet.
The 34-year-old went on to create more history at Manchester Arena in November when she dethroned WBO Super-Lightweight World Champion Christina Linardatou to become a two-weight World ruler – becoming only the third Irish boxer to win World Titles in two weight classes.
Persoon (44-2, 18 KOs) held the WBC strap for five years, making nine successful defences in that reign, before losing it to Taylor in a Fight of the Year contender. Despite losing on two of the judges’ scorecards, Persoon was convinced she’d won after ten rounds of relentless action and has been lobbying for a rematch ever since.
“With Amanda Serrano not taking the fight I wanted the biggest fight possible in August and I think a second Persoon fight is one that everyone wants to see,” said Taylor. “I’ve been looking forward to a rematch ever since the first fight and I’m delighted it’s been made. It was definitely very close first time around, but I felt I deserved the win and I intend to leave no doubts in the rematch.”
Persoon said: “I am ready to get the victory following the injustice last June in New York, not by words but in the ring – I am ready!”
“Wow! What a fight – what a night! To be honest I can’t quite believe this fight has been made, I can’t give enough credit to Katie and Delfine for agreeing to do it again,” said Eddie Hearn. “Since their epic Fight of the Year contender at MSG last year, everyone has wanted to see this once again and now we have it. I’m very proud to stage this fight especially at such a critical time for our sport – along with Whyte vs. Povetkin August 22 will be one not to forget.”
Taylor vs. Persoon lands on the final week of Matchroom Fight Camp as Dillian Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) puts his WBC Interim Heavyweight World Title on the line against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) in a battle of the left hooks, Martin Bakole (15-1, 12 KOs) returns to the ring against Russia’s Sergey Kuzmin (15-1, 11 KOs) and Luther Clay (13-1, 5 KOs) defends his WBO Global Welterweight Title against Chris Kongo (11-0, 6 KOs).
Katie Taylor says her undisputed Lightweight World title clash with Delfine Persoon at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday June 1, shown live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK, will be the “toughest fight” of her career.
Taylor added the WBO title to her IBF and WBA crowns in March, halting Brazil’s Rose Volante in the ninth round in Philadelphia, and now the Irish sensation has the opportunity to fulfill her goal of becoming undisputed ruler when she meets long-reigning WBC champion Persoon in a landmark moment for women’s boxing.
Persoon has held the WBC strap since 2014, making nine defenses during that time, and will look to cement herself as the number one female 135-pound fighter on the planet when she fights in America for the first time next week. Taylor has prepared for ten hard rounds with her Belgian opponent who holds an impressive career record of 43 wins and just one loss.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to have the chance to become the undisputed champion,” said Taylor. “Every day in camp has been 100% focused on the task at hand so I won’t sit back and think about it until I’ve actually achieved it as that’s what I am like.
“The chance to fight for the four World titles and the Ring Magazine belt at the Mecca of boxing, MSG, I don’t think you could write a better script, it’s an absolute dream. Persoon is recognized 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. This is huge for women’s boxing.
“This fight is going to be the toughest of my career so far, Delfine is a fantastic champion, she’s got 43 wins and just one loss, she’s been a long-reigning champion and she’s a fantastic person. I know that this is going to be tough and that’s why I’ve trained so hard and had a tough camp as I know that this is so big for me, not just for the immediate success but for my future plans.
“I think it’s going to be a really hard fight. I’ve watched clips of her and she’s very tall and awkward, she punches non-stop for the ten rounds and I think it’s going to be a very physical fight. It’s a huge challenge but the one that I’ve wanted. She’ll bring the best out of me as I have the utmost respect for her and we’re going to lay it all on the line and may the best girl win. The famous green belt and the Ring Magazine belts being on the line is just amazing.”
Taylor and Persoon clash on a huge night of action at MSG where Anthony Johua’s World title defence against Andy Ruiz Jr. is supported by Callum Smith defending his WBA World ‘Super’, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight titles against Hassan N’Dam, Josh Kelly making his US debut as he defends his WBA International Welterweight title against Philadelphia’s Ray Robinson and Chris Algieri defending his WBO International title against Britain’s Tommy Coyle in a crunch Super-Lightweight showdown – with more exciting undercard additions announced this week.