Former WBC world champion Delfine Persoon was dumped out of the European qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 at the Copper Box Arena in London on Saturday.

The Belgian lightweight, who was edged on a majority decision by Katie Taylor in an IBF/WBO/WBA/WBC unifier in New York last summer, dropped a split decision to Nikoleta Pita of Greece on Day 1 of the qualifiers. 

Pita won the first two rounds of the preliminary round fight, and Persoon, who has won 44 of her 46 pro fights before regrading to the amateur ranks to try and qualify for Tokyo, claimed the third.

But Pita had enough in the bank to take a split verdict and advance to the last 16 on the opening day of the tournament.

George Bates, Emmett Brennan, Kiril Afanasev and Christina Desmond get Ireland's campaign underway in London tomorrow.

Kellie Harrington is in action in the last 16 on St Patrick's Day against an opponent to be determined.

The Dublin lightweight needs to finish in the top 6 to qualify for Tokyo.

77 Olympic places - 50 for men and 27 for women - are up for grabs at the tournament which was given the green light to go ahead despite numerous sports fixtures in the UK being cancelled because of the Coronavirus.

Ireland is using a 13-strong squad in London.