What a fight that was, I don’t think anyone who saw it will ask again if women’s boxing is serious. I was cheering for Katie Taylor all the way, she wobbled and she certainly didn’t dominate every round but took the win in the end for the judges, and for me.
Delfine Persoon was never going to be the walk-over a lot of fans wanted her to be. I blogged here last week on her background, but she was even tougher than most of us were expecting.
So for what it’s worth, my take is it’s always hard to judge a fight when you’re not actually sitting there and watching every move without distractions. Judges operate in a different mood to the casual observer (how we wish they could always be transparent but that’s a blog for another day!).
I don’t know enough about boxing scoring to give my count for every round. But after more than 20 years being around fighting, I was surprised to see Taylor running out of puff towards the end. And I was surprised to see her trying to trade punches with someone who was clearly stronger than her – she said herself she was drawn into a brawl when that’s just not her scene.
But, but for me Taylor’s punches were cleaner and more accurate overall – a lot of Persoon’s blows from the later rounds were fast and furious but not getting past the defence. (Updated to add – watch her right hook especially for this). See the Compubox stats below. She just didn’t take the win in the way that so many fans have grown to expect.
Jacqui Hurley made the point on radio earlier that Taylor previously lost a close round at Rio2016 and there was muted outrage about that then. Now she’s on the other side of a decision which in this case could have gone either way.
People in fighting circles talk about taking the win, winning ugly but getting win. And in the end, that’s for me what happened here. It wasn’t a robbery, wasn’t evidence of some conspiracy just that someone won and someone else could feel peeved because they came so close that it felt like a win.
You could also argue about the rounds where Persoon was coming forward and say that for Taylor to land and score when she was clearly exhausted is exactly what the heart of a champion demands.
I doubt there will be a rematch anytime soon. I do imagine there will be changes to Ross Enamit’s training regime for the next fight – less expectation for the quick KO and more focus on stamina and power perhaps.
Lots written about this in the Irish sports pages, some of the more thoughtful pieces: