Former Katie Taylor rival Delfine Persoon doesn’t look likely to be an Olympic qualifying rival for Kellie Harrington next week.
The former WBC world champion moved from the unified lightweight world champion’s radar to that of the world amateur championship gold medal winners when she decided to return to the amateurs.
The experienced veteran elected park her pursuit of an eagerly anticipated rematch with Katie Taylor in favour of trying to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
Having regained amateur status and sorted funding from the Belgian sports council equivalent, Persoon set about preparing for the European Olympic qualifiers which glove off in London this Saturday.
As a lightweight Persoon became a potential opponent for Irish Olympic hopeful Harrington and anticipation surrounding a possible meeting was building.
However, it now seems unlikely the Belgian will compete next week.
Persoon is struggling with a neck hernia and has been without the use of her left arm according to Belgian press – and as a result is a major doubt for next weeks qualifiers.
If unavailable to compete next week Persoon may be afforded the chance to reach Tokyo via the world qualifiers in Paris later in the year.
Her coach Filiep Tampere is pushing for that route to be taken, but the fighter herself wants to go to London, injured or not.
“Everyone advises against it, but she has set her sights on London,” said Tampere.
“I will not decide until tomorrow, ” Persoon emphasizes. “I have indeed set my sights on London and I am a go-getter, yes. Filiep also says that I will meet better opponents there than in Paris, but that does not deter me. If I succeed in London, I will have a month longer to prepare for the Games. If it doesn’t work, Paris is still possible. But there will be more tension, because if it does not work there, it is over and out. And I still want to get the Games. ”
“Look, I have had a great career as a pro. But I was robbed in New York in the most beautiful camp of my life against Katie Taylor, with four world titles as stake”, Persoon continues. “Participation in Games would already partially correct that injustice.”