Close call but Katie merited verdict, says dad Pete

Pete Taylor believes his daughter deserved to have her hand raised in victory against Delfine Persoon in New York last Saturday night, but he admitted it was a close call.

Close call but Katie merited verdict, says dad Pete

Pete Taylor believes his daughter deserved to have her hand raised in victory against Delfine Persoon in New York last Saturday night, but he admitted it was a close call.

Katie Taylor edged the Belgian lightweight on a majority decision at Madison Square Garden to become the seventh fighter after Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk, Jermain Taylor, Terrence Crawford, Claressa Shields, and Cecilia Braekhus to unify an entire division.

“It wasn’t a robbery if either one of them got it. I think if anyone runs Katie close, everyone just looks at what the other person does, said her father.

“Katie won five out of the first six rounds and then obviously people remember the backend of the fight.”

The 14th win of her pro career saw unbeaten Taylor add Persoon’s WBC strap to her IBF/WBA/WBO crowns, but some boxers and pundits believe Persoon should be the undisputed champion.

Chief among these was Taylor’s former Irish team-mate Carl Frampton, who called the scoring of the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut judges disgraceful.

However, Claressa Shields and Dublin’s current World Elite amateur champion Kellie Harington, also a former Irish team-mate of Taylor’s, congratulated the Wicklow fighter.

Taylor and her promoter Eddie Hearn indicated a rematch is on the cards after the 14th win of the Bray woman’s career, but a fight with Amanda Serrano could be next.

Persoon, who looked more battered than Taylor after Saturday’s tear-up, is lodging a complaint with boxing chiefs after the second defeat of her 45-bout career and fears Taylor’s team will try to dodge a rematch.

“Her team will argue that she has passed me by. She will not give me another chance,” said the 34-year-old police officer.

“We will file a claim,” Persoon told Belgian publication Sudpresse. “Even if it will probably not help anything. We were prevented from writing a beautiful page in the history of boxing.

"Everyone has seen and everyone knows that is a shame, but who will remember it again in a few years, reading my record where this championship will appear in the column of my defeats? In my eyes it’s not a defeat.

“What we will do now is of course make complaint, but without much hope, because the weight of the Belgian boxing does not weigh heavy in the instances, but with my coach we will quietly analyse this fight, sequence by sequence, to have all the arguments to present an unassailable file.”

“I said before I left for New York that if I did not win by KO the judges would never give me the victory, and that’s exactly what happened.”

Pete Taylor, who steered his daughter to 18 major titles in the amateur ranks, including Ireland’s only Olympic gold in any sport this century, drew a comparison between the Persoon fight and the Rio 2016 quarter-final, which saw Taylor drop a disputed split decision to Finland’s Mira Potkonen with at least bronze up for grabs in her last fight in the amateur code.

“It was a close fight, same with the fight in the Olympics against Mira. That was a close fight, she didn’t get it. This time she did get it.

“The quality of the punches were from Katie. That girl (Persoon) was falling in with her punches and just making it into a slugfest.

"Katie was much more technical and better boxing.

“I’d say that Katie will definitely want a rematch, but who knows, it’s professional boxing.

"It’s all about promoters really and things like that. I’d say Katie will definitely be looking for one.

“I think in the rematch Katie will have learned a lot more from that fight. Katie can change a fight plan, but that girl can’t.

“It was a close fight, it was a great fight.

"At the end of the day, it was a great advertisement for women’s boxing.”

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up