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The story behind Persoon’s sole defeat explains just how tough she is

Delfine Persoon will prove Katie Taylor’s toughest opponent to date in more ways than one.

The IBF, WBA and WBO title holder has been open about how her Flemish opponent in this weekend’s eagerly anticipated undisputed fight will prove her toughest test to date.

Indeed, the Bray fighter believes the reigning WBC title holder is a harder prospect than potential ‘mega fight’ opponent Amanda Serrano.

However, it seems Persoon is Taylor’s toughest opponent for various reason. The busy fighter is the most accomplished fighter the Olympic gold medal winner has agreed to face and will ask a new questions of the gifted Matchroom operator.

It also seems the 44-fight veteran will also be the toughest in terms of grit, determination, punch resistance, and pure stubbornness if her sole defeat is anything to go by.

If you look into the knockout reverse suffered by Zelda Terkin in 2010 you won’t find more reason to favour the Irish side of the ‘all the marbles’ clash, rather you may come away with even more respect for the underdog in Saturday’s Madison Square Garden-hosted DAZN and Sky Box Office-broadcast clash.

Her manager and coach Filiep Tampere, a former pro himself revealed the rematch with her fellow Belgian – Terkin was disqualified when they first meet – played out one hour after the now WBC champion had checked herself out of hospital.

Just 18 months into the police inspector’s pro boxing career and one month after the original Terkin bout, Persoon fell ill the evening before the fight. The now undisputed hopeful was taken to hospital suffering from dehydration, but despite being kept in over night elected to take part in the clash.

The now-34-year-old was eventually stopped in the fifth round, but her stubbornness, bravery and indeed toughness is summed up by the fact she didn’t pull out.

“I wasn’t able to keep any food down but I kept thinking of the people who had bought tickets to see the fight,” Persoon said when speaking to Sean McGoldrick for the Independent. 

“I didn’t want to let my family, friends and colleague down so I signed myself out of hospital and went direct to the venue to do a warm-up.”

Photo Credit: Bart Vandenbroucke


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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com