The 36-year-old boxer Delfine Persoon (45 victories, 3 defeats) defeated 30-year-old Russian Elena Gradinar (10 victories, 2 defeats) on points (100-89, 100-89, and 99-89) on Saturday evening in Eernegem. The West Flemish thus conquered the vacant intercontinental IBO title in the super featherweights (between 57.152 and 58.967 kg).
Persoon thus officially becomes the challenger of 24-year-old British Terri Harper (11 wins, 0 defeats, 1 undecided match), the reigning WBC and IBO world champion. She did everything she could to take Gradinar out before the end of the bout, ten two-minute laps, but the Russian held out.
Persoon made her first appearance as a pro in the ring since her second loss to Katie Taylor, then still in the lightweights, on August 22, 2020. She lost the rematch against the Irish on points (98-93, 96-94, 96-94).
On June 1, 2019, Persoon and the 2012 Olympic champion competed against each other for the first time in New York’s Madison Square Garden, with the aim of winning the title of undisputed world champion. At the time, Persoon still held the WBC title. In New York, Delfine Persoon lost 95-95, 96-94, and 96-94, while the majority of the observers had seen a victory for the West Flemish.
Delfine Persoon tried unsuccessfully for the past year and a half for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. In March 2020, she was eliminated in the first round at a qualifying tournament in London. There was no second chance due to the corona pandemic, the qualifying tournament in Paris was canceled.