Boxing world champ received by King, feted by government

Summary

Delfine Persoon, who won the lightweight world champion boxing title earlier this month in West Flanders, met the king yesterday and will visit the sports minister in parliament tomorrow

Champion athletes to be honoured in parliament

The world lightweight boxing champion, Delfine Persoon of West Flanders, was received by King Filip yesterday, following her victory in the WBA world title fight. She was accompanied by boxing board representatives and her trainer, Filiep Tampere. The king awarded Persoon the championship belt.

In return, the king received a pair of signed gloves and a supporter’s scarf. “Are those your size or my size?” he enquired.

Persoon, 29, defeated Argentine fighter Erica Anabella Farias in West Flanders on points earlier this month. “The king was very interested, which we hadn’t expected,” she told VTM News. “He seemed to know quite a bit about boxing in general, although boxing isn’t that popular in Belgium. He asked if it wasn’t dangerous in terms of brain damage, but we explained that if the fighters are properly trained and disciplined, it’s okay.” 

Persoon will also be part of a group of athletes honoured tomorrow by Flemish sports minister Philippe Muyters. Flemings who finished in the top eight in the Olympics or medalled in a European or world championship over the last couple of months have been invited, including bobsleigh team Elfje Willemsen and Hanna Mariën, weightlifter Tom Goegebeur, duathletes Rob Woestenborghs and Kenneth Vandendriessche and cyclist Kelly Druyts.

Photo: Chair of WBC in Belgium Bob Logist looks on while lightweight champion Delfine Persoon offers King Filip a pair of boxing gloves

Photo by Kurt Desplenter/BELGA