Taylor and Persoon put all their belts on the line in historical female world championship clash
WBC female lightweight champion Belgian Delfine Persoon (43-1) will face Irish sensation Katie Taylor (13-0), who holds all three other titles - WBA, IBF and WBO - in a supreme unification for all four world titles and the pinnacle that is The Ring Magazine belt this Saturday, June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Both fighters were present and correct at the final press conference, along with the other protagonists of the undercard.
A policewoman seeking to take a "once-in-a-lifetime" chance stands between Katie Taylor and boxing greatness as she bids to become undisputed women's lightweight champion.
Persoon has just a single and solitary loss in 44 professional fights. She has reigned as the World Boxing Council champion for five years, making nine successful defenses, with great performances, categorically proving she is one of the very best and most feared fighters in the world.
Yet Persoon, 34, has never fought outside of Europe. Almost all of her career she has been active in her native country only, having taken up boxing 12 years ago after injury ended her judo career.
But now, she takes on this monumental unification challenge against 32-year-old Taylor in NY, which will define the world’s best fighter in the 135-pound division.
This, she claims, is a fight that she and her trainer have been trying to make for two years now. She also prophesised that when she turned professional, it was with dreams of becoming a unified world champion.
The contrast between the fighters couldn't be more stark, with Persoon experiencing just a dozen amateur bouts due to ther being no national team, and Bray boxer Taylor winning an Olympic gold in London 2012 and being referred to in her homeland as the closest thing Ireland has to royalty.
When the fresh-faced Irish boxer won her gold medal in 2012, Persoon was already 19-1 as a pro and European champion. By the time of Taylor's pro bow in November 2016, the Belgian had moved up to 37-1 and was a world champion already on her fifth defence of the prestigious green and gold belt.
Meanwhile undaunted Taylor is undefeated in 13 matches. She won her first world title in just her seventh professional fight when she defeated Anahi Sánchez to win the WBA crown. Then she beat Victoria Noelia Bustos to add the IBF title, and in her last fight on March 15, she knocked out the previously unbeaten Brazilian Rose Volante, to win the WBO crown to make it a hat-trick.
"It's huge, the biggest fight and biggest night of my career," Taylor said.
"We are going to go for it. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance, so why not?" shrugged Persson. "A lot of people say I have no chance, but me, I say 50-50."
This fascinating and fabulous fight has been organised by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.