Katie Taylor looks to expand her legacy even more when she faces off against Delfine Persoon on Saturday to add the WBC belt to her WBA, IBF and WBO titles to become the undisputed lightweight champion.
The fight takes place on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s showdown with Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
It’s Taylor’s 10th professional bout and arguably the most important of her career. But while we all know plenty about Ireland’s Olympic hero, her opponent on Saturday night is not quite so well-known in these parts.
So who is Delfine Persoon? And can she spoil Taylor’s party at MSG on Saturday night? Let’s take a look.
Who is she?
From the town of Gits in Belgium, Persoon is a full-time police officer who has been boxing professionally since 2009 after establishing herself as one of the top amateurs in her home country.
A veteran of the squared circle, the 34-year-old got her start in competitive judo but soon switched to boxing to much success.
With all but one of her past 44 fights taking place in Belgium, Persoons has never before attracted a crowd like this for a fight.
— Boxing Insider.com (@BoxingInsider) May 28, 2019
What’s her record?
In her 44 professional fights to date, Persoon has recorded an impressive 43 wins and is undefeated since fellow Belgian Zelda Tekin handed her the sole defeat of her career back in 2010.
In her 34 bouts since then, Persoon has notched up 15 knockout wins, getting her first big break in 2012 when she recorded a TKO win over Australian Erin McGowan to claim the IBF Lightweight belt.
She was stripped of the IBF title a year later for failing to put it up for a defense but has the chance to win it back on Saturday night.
Can she win?
While Taylor has fought in MSG before, her opponent will not be as well used to the bright lights of boxing’s biggest stage.
Similarly, Taylor’s preparations are likely to be far more intensive than Persoon’s, with the Belgian being forced to work overtime in her job as a police officer in order to have enough annual leave to prepare for the fight.
Unsurprisingly, Taylor is the favourite on Saturday night with all the bookies listing the Bray native as the odds-on favourite. Meanwhile, the shortest odds we could find for a Persoon victory across 28 betting sites was 6/1.