Delfine Persoon Calmly Dismantles Melissa St. Vil to Retain WBC Title
By Phil Woolever
Delphine Persoon only displays her game face when it’s time to get down to business.
It was business time again on Saturday night in the XPO center at Kortrijk, Belgium where Persoon defended her WBC Lightweight belt with an impressive TKO of willing challenger Melissa St. Vil.
Persoon weighed in at 134 ½, St. Vil came in at the 135 pound limit. By the halfway point of the scheduled ten rounds, local favorite Persoon carried the much heavier hands.
St. Vil stayed true to her word and attacked from the start, scoring early. She charged out behind big rights that gave the Flanders crowd a scare and kept Persoon from establishing her own offense.
Persoon solved St. Vil’s aggression by the third frame and landed more and more counter combinations. After that, Persoon dominated virtually all the exchanges. Soon it looked like St. Vil was flailing in desperation. Some of her shots missed by so much it appeared she was aiming at somebody besides Persoon.
By the end of the sixth session, St. Vil and her team figured enough was enough, and she didn’t come out for round seven. It goes into the books as a TKO 6 for Persoon, now 43-1 (18KO). St. Vil falls to 11-4-4 (1).
Both fighters were relatively unmarked at the conclusion, especially considering the amount of punches thrown. St. Vil looked a bit shell-shocked, but she maintained her positive attitude while congratulating Persoon for the victory and thanking Belgium for the hospitality.
A crowd of approximately 1,000 fans gathered to cheer for Persoon, recognized as one of Belgium’s top athletes. Hundreds of ringside seats and a VIP lounge area sold out.
The unassuming champion presents such a mellow persona it’s hard to imagine the intensity she brings into a boxing ring. That icy demeanor just might be one of her best weapons.
While some fighters attempt to get into an opponent’s head before the fight starts with taunts, threats or other posturing, Persoon saves any acts of bravado until the bell rings.
That’s how things looked this week as Persoon prepared to meet St Vil. In contrast to the vibrant challenger, Persoon looked not only shy, but somewhat timid.
While not aloof or detached, it seems Persoon is not the type of fighter who craves a spotlight. Apparently, her self-confidence doesn’t require reassurance from others.
She does, indeed, let her fists do the talking.
Is Katie Next?
Maybe that approach has finally earned her a match up she and her team say they have been chasing for years, against unified titlist Katie Taylor.
“I have been hoping to fight Katie Taylor for a long time and we have made offers to her before,” Persoon told the press. “It would of course be phenomenal if I can be in that fight.”
Nothing has been finalized, but multiple outlets report that the unification bout is now penciled in for June 1st at Madison Square Garden.
If so it will be much harder for Persoon to avoid the hoopla, but all she really has to avoid are Taylor’s gloves.
(Photo by the 42.ie)