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WBC Orders Alycia Baumgardner Vs. Delfine Persoon

WBC Orders Alycia Baumgardner Vs. Delfine Persoon featured image
Women's undisputed super featherweight champion Alycia Baumgardner (L) and recently-confirmed mandatory challenger Delfine Persoon (R) have been ordered by the WBC to face each other, with purse bid proceedings set to occur on Friday, March 15th.

Super featherweights Alycia Baumgardner and Delfine Persoon have been ordered by the WBC to face each other, with purse bids set to be held this Friday on March 15th. With Persoon regarded as the #1 contender across all the main sanctioning bodies’ ranking boards, the WBC‘s decision to order this bout was but a formality given Persoon’s ranking.

Interestingly, the WBC appears to have skipped issuing the two fighters’ teams to negotiate over a period of approximately a month, and has instead gone straight into declaring the purse bid proceedings to occur this week, leaving either fighter with little time to either accept or pass down the opportunity to compete in a world title fight.

Part of the WBC’s decision not to order a negotiation period might have to do with Alycia Baumgardner’s (15-1, 7 KO’s) suspension by the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) that had been lifted last Friday. As Baumgardner still held all the world titles at super featherweight/junior lightweight amidst the period where she was suspended, none of the sanctioning bodies were able to order a mandatory match until Baumgardner was either cleared or found guilty for intentional doping amidst a supposed investigation by the ABC―or the Michigan Unarmed Combat Commission under whom Baumgardner is licensed, that had never been formally announced.

Belgium contender Delfine Persoon (49-3, 19 KO’s) has now emerged as Baumgardner’s mandatory challenger, and the WBC’s decision to forgo a negotiation period might have been prompted by Baumgardner’s inactivity as a result of her suspension, showing their resolve to ensure a timely resolution to Persoon’s inability to challenge Alycia Baumgardner.

As Alycia Baumgardner holds all her titles at 130 lbs, it is the WBC that has uncharacteristically emerged to attempt to ensure that the division does not stagnate by ordering purse bid proceedings to occur a week from when Baumgardner was exonerated for intentional doping.

The WBC’s urgency to order the Baumgardner-Persoon bout directly contrasts their handling of the men’s super middleweight division with its undisputed champion, Canelo Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KO’s), having yet to be ordered to face the division’s top contender in David Benavidez (28-0, 24 KO’s)―despite Benavidez having attained the mandatory challenger status twice last year.

Though the circumstances surrounding Canelo Alvarez and Alycia Baumgardner differs greatly, with Alvarez having had no failed positive drug tests or suspensions imposed on him the past couple of years, there does seem to be a clear case of the WBC selectively choosing the divisions they prioritize.

Currently, the WBC is the only sanctioning body capable of keeping the 168 lbs division from stagnating as Benavidez is the WBC interim champion―thereby preventing Alvarez-Benavidez from being ordered by the other main sanctioning bodies as Benavidez’ interim champion status prevents him from being ranked elsewhere. As Benavidez is recognized to be the #1 contender in the division, his interim champions status has now proven to be a double-edged sword with him being denied an opportunity to face Alvarez, despite his position warranting as such.

While both Canelo Alvarez and David Benavidez are expected to compete in their respective matches the upcoming months, the WBC’s recent mandate of the Baumgardner-Persoon bout verifies that they are able to draw quick resolutions in order to help a division stay in peak competitive form. However, the WBC appears to lack the desire to maintain competitiveness in every division.

The purse bid proceedings on Friday will likely see Baumgardner’s promoter, Matchroom Boxing, win the bid to promote the ordered bout between Baumgardner and Persoon with the promotional outfit being one of the more prominent companies compared to Boxing Team Houtland under whose banner Persoon has fought the majority of her career.