What was supposed to be a historic night in women's boxing ended up being a controversial one that resulted in Katie Taylor becoming the undisputed lightweight champion.
On the opening fight of the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. main card at Madison Square Garden, Taylor won a majority decision against Delfine Persoon to unify the WBA, WBO, WBC, IBF and Ring Magazine titles. Taylor won with scores of 95-95, 96-94 and 96-94. Fightful scored it 97-93 in favor of Persoon on its live coverage page which can be seen at this link.
The action was ugly and bloody as both women bruised each other's faces throughout the 10 rounds. Taylor started off well by landing better jabs and cleaner punches in the first round, but Persoon quickly turned the tide in her favor. Persoon's aggressive and scrappy fighting made the fight awkward for Taylor, who struggled to land many clean shots.
Persoon's left eye was swollen shut as the fight progressed, but still pressed the action forward. The two champions landed several big shots and had moments where both fighters stood in the middle of the ring and traded hooks and jabs. In the last few rounds, Taylor kept moving back and forcing Persoon to give chase and make her run out of stamina. By the end of the fight, Persoon believed she was the winner of the fight, but after the scorecards were read, Persoon was in utter disgust and immediately left the ring in frustration.
Taylor won the gold medal in the 2012 Olympics and has won multiple amateur titles before turning pro in November 2016. Less than a year into her career, Taylor won her first world title in the paid ranks when she defeated Anahi Sanchez to win the WBA title. Taylor would go on to add the IBF title in April 2018 with a win over Victoria Bustos and then the WBO title this past March with a ninth-round TKO victory over Rose Volante.
Taylor is the third-ever undisputed champion in women's boxing and the first woman to do it at lightweight. In April, Claressa Shields became the second-ever undisputed champion after unifying all four major alphabet titles at 160 pounds with a win over Christina Hammer.