Not even the benefit of fighting in her home country afforded Delfine Persoon a comfortable win.

The former long-reigning WBC lightweight titlist was forced to sweat out a split decision in her ten-round points victory over South Korea’s Bo-mire Shin in their WBC Silver junior lightweight title fight Sunday in Torhout, Belgium. The visiting Shin was awarded a 96-94 verdict on one scorecard, overruled by scores of 97-93 and 98-92 for Persoon, who lives in nearby Roeselare and fought at home for the first time since November 2021.

Persoon won largely on the strength of her jab. The 38-year-old local favorite put her height and reach to good use, as she kept Shin at her desired distance for much of the bout.

Shin enjoyed mid-round success, as she assumed the role of aggressor as Persoon spent much of the night fighting in reverse. The come-forward approach employed by Shin was enough to impress one judge, though ultimately not enough to extend her six-fight win streak. She fell to 15-2-3 (8KOs), with both career losses having taken place on the road; she dropped a six-round decision to Thi Linh Tran in their February 2020 but in Bavet, Cambodia.

Persoon advanced to 48-3 (19KOs). The win extended Persoon’s current five-fight unbeaten streak since a pair of losses to undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor.

Among that run is a ten-round victory over then-unbeaten Elhem Mekhaled in their terrific slugfest last May 21 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The fight was postponed twice within a two-week span and thought to have been canceled outright before both boxers were summoned to return to the Middle East during fight week and in time for their memorable clash.

The win by Persoon on that night preserved her place in line as the WBC number-one contender in the junior lightweight rankings. She is the recognized mandatory challenger by all four major sanctioning bodies to undisputed junior lightweight queen Alycia Baumgardner (14-1, 7KOs), who defends her fully unified crown in a rematch with Christina Linardatou on July 15 in her adopted hometown of Detroit, Michigan.

Persoon was the first to defeat Linardatou (14-2, 6KOs), doing so in June 2014 as one of her nine successful WBC lightweight title defenses before a disputed ten-round decision defeat to Ireland’s Taylor (22-1, 6KOs) in their June 2019 undisputed clash.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox