Katie Taylor becomes undisputed lightweight champion after all-action classic against Delfine Persoon

Katie Taylor becomes undisputed lightweight champion after all-action classic against Delfine Persoon

Katie Taylor became undisputed lightweight champion after receiving a razor-thin majority decision against Delfine Persoon in a contest which will go down as a genuine watershed moment for women's boxing.

Taylor put her WBA, WBO and IBF titles on the line against the long-reigning WBC champion Persoon, the police officer from West Flanders, Belgium in what was billed as the best fighting the best.

And the encounter more than lived up to the pre-fight hype in an all-action classic which swung one way to the other and finally ended, only just, in Taylor's favour.

Katie Taylor becomes undisputed lightweight champion after all-action classic against Delfine Persoon

Judge Don Trella had it 95-95 after the 10, two-minute rounds while both John Poturaj and Allen Nace had Taylor a 96-94 victory, making her Ireland's first ever undisputed champion and only the seventh in history to unify all four major belts at once.

But, that hardware aside, the nature of Taylor-Persoon will also serve to kick open the door for women's boxing following its steady climb into the consciousness of the fighting public over the past few years.

Persoon, who could not believe the decision and swiftly returned to her dressing room in tears, provided Taylor with the toughest fight of her life and will feel robbed given how hard she worked over the course of the 10 rounds.

After admitting she would never beat Taylor in an amateur fight, Persoon had spoken in the build-up of the need to make this a physical battle and her relentless, front-foot tactics ensured Taylor was not given a moment's peace.

Katie Taylor becomes undisputed lightweight champion after all-action classic against Delfine Persoon

She swarmed forward until the very final bell and appeared to have Taylor on the brink in the 10th round's closing seconds and the Bray woman was forced to summon every ounce of her soul to dig in and reach the final bell. As it happened, Taylor was still swinging as it rang.

“That's my problem sometimes,” Taylor said afterwards. “I like a fight too much.

I'm definitely the superior boxer and I should've boxed on the outside a bit more. But thankfully I dug deep and got the win.

“It was a very very tough fight. I felt I won the early rounds and she came back strong at the end. I knew it would be that type of fight. Persoon is a great fighter.

Katie Taylor becomes undisputed lightweight champion after all-action classic against Delfine Persoon

“That was a great showcase for women's boxing. I knew it was going to be the hardest fight of my career and it definitely was. Im good at digging deep, I'm born for fights like this.

“I'd happily give Delfine a rematch if she wants one but there are definitely big fights out there for me.”

Katie Taylor becomes undisputed lightweight champion after all-action classic against Delfine Persoon

Taylor is now 14-0, the proud owner of the WBC, IBF, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine lightweight titles but her choice of ringwalk song, U2's I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, may suggest that Taylor remains very much in the hunt for greatness.

This was a definite step on that road but Taylor knows there is now more in store. A Persoon rematch would be a good place to start.

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