Delfine Persoon Gets Another Unsatisfying Victory Over Natalia del Valle Aguirre
By Phil Woolever
WBC Lightweight Champion Delfine Persoon scored a widespread unanimous decision over Natalia del Valle Aguirre in Belgium Saturday night, but it was not the type of scene one might imagine for a fighter who is considered one of the best female boxers in the world.
Local hero Persoon improved to 41-1 (16 KO) against the southpaw challenger from Argentina, whose record dropped to 8-11-3.
Persoon’s fans were happy, but the outcome was never in doubt from the time the match was signed.
Del Valle Aguirre has the heart of a fighter and deserves respect, but she was an unthreatening opponent with zero knockouts on her slate.
Del Valle Aguirre won her most recent bout, in June 2016, but prior to that lost nine in a row.
The outcome was not hard to predict.
Persoon stayed aggressive and pitched a shutout, by scores of 100-90, 100-89 and 100-88.
The only real question was whether or not Persoon could KO her overmatched foe, but the unconventional del Valle Aguirre hung tough and defiant under constant fire, adding to what was a less than satisfactory victory for the champion.
“It was a frustrating fight,” Persoon told the press. “She almost got me out of my game plan for a moment, but my coach (Filiep Tampere) kept me focused.”
The pattern was set early and did not change.
Persoon came in moving side to side and scored compact crosses with both hands. Del Valle kept her head down, took a few shots, then lunged back with wild rights that missed by a foot.
The awkward challenger did manage to duck away from a lot of punches and score with a few counters, but that’s probably because Persoon stayed very busy and wasn’t afraid of anything that came back at her.
Persoon created clear openings for her uppercut, and backed del Valle Aguirre to the ropes throughout the contest.
28-year old del Valle Aguirre wore a brace on her left knee and was thoroughly outmaneuvered, but she remained cocky, almost laughing in Persoon’s face.
At the final bell, the durable visitor seemed ecstatic that she had gone the distance against an elite champion.
It was the 33- year old Persoon’s seventh title defense, but hardly the stuff that builds to an international reputation.
Katie Taylor and more
It may not be Persoon’s fault, but she has not faced a really top tier opponent since capturing her belt by 10-round decision over Erica Farias in April 2014.
Persoon topped talented Maiva Hamadouche in November 2015, but Hamadouche was only 9-0 at the time.
After the fight Saturday, the Belgian press started blabbing again about Persoon meeting Katie Taylor, and once again Persoon complained about her lack of exposure and opportunities.
Maybe Persoon, who works in law enforcement, should quit acting like she’s in the witness protection program and her manager should learn to make her more available to press outside Belgium.
Repeated attempts to reach Persoon or her camp remained unanswered.
While there are always two sides to negotiations, reliable sources indicate Taylor’s camp have already offered Persoon a fight that she declined, though finances could have something to do with that.
“I don’t have TV or media behind me. In Flanders it’s even worse than Wallonia (Belgian regions),” Persoon lamented to the HLN news outlet. “We tried to make fights and five girls pulled out because they demanded TV rights. They made money in their countries and we lost money.”
Maybe travelling outside her comfort zone to face potential cash cow Taylor or someone like respected Eva Wahlstrom would take care of that problem.
Persoon stated she doesn’t see herself fighting four years from now. She said she’s eying the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and hopes to get paydays that will allow her to start her own training center.
To be realistic, maybe she should consider the still unstable state of both Olympic and global women’s boxing. Today’s opportunities may be gone tomorrow.
Saturday’s fight took place at the Eernegem Sports Complex in what looked like a US high school gym.
At the very least, if Persoon fought Taylor soon it would probably be in a place like Barclays Center or a London arena, as part of a pay per view card seen by millions in multiple countries.
You’d have to assume that would pay better than quite a few appearances in Eernegem, Moorslede or Zwevezele.
It’s not like Persoon wouldn’t currently have a decent shot against anyone near her weight class.
Unless some unknown reason is holding her back, Persoon should be willing to take the same kind of chance that fighters like Natalia del Valle Aguirre take all the time.