Kim Clavel wanted to seek confirmation in her duel against Naomi Arellano Reyes. She got it.
“To be honest, today I needed all the little courage that I have in my heart, launched a moved Clavel in a press conference. I talked to myself like it’s not possible. Boxing is hard; not just anyone can do that. We do it for us, we do it for you, we do it to promote women’s boxing, for the passion for sport. I love this sport deeply. It hurts me, but it makes me feel good at the same time. »
Clavel (17-1, 3 KOs) delivered an inspired performance, dominating Reyes (9-3, 5 KOs) in virtually every round at Place Bell, earning a convincing unanimous decision victory .
The 32-year-old Montrealer went 98-92, twice, and 96-94 to claim the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) International and World Boxing Organization (WBO) Intercontinental belts from mid- flies.
More importantly, the boxer ranked No. 1 by the WBO and No. 2 by the WBC and the International Boxing Federation (IBF) now becomes the mandatory contender for the division’s WBC and WBO champions: Yesica Nery Plata, who has defeated Clavel in January to claim the WBC title, and Evelyn Bermudez.
Groupe Yvon Michel had renamed this gala “La Reconquête” and Clavel had put a lot of pressure on his shoulders for this return to the ring after a first defeat among professionals. She can say mission accomplished, although she admitted it wasn’t perfect immediately after the fight.
“I think I have set the record straight. Coming back from a defeat is not easy, but we found the means to win. We made adjustments. I feel that we are on the right track to improve further. »
After a very divided first round during which his jab still dictated the tone, Clavel was able to find his bearings to land several good power shots.
Clavel had to be wary, however: the counterattacks of the Mexican were lively, although less precise than the attacks of the Montrealer.
“She’s a tough boxer, probably the hardest hitting fighter I’ve ever faced,” Clavel said with a bruised face at the press conference. […] Among women, the record does not lie: she had five knockouts. in nine fights. It’s rare. I found a way to win. »
It was from the fourth that we felt Clavel, surly throughout this fight, really taking control of this duel. Reyes may have thrown everything she has best in her arsenal, the ex-world champion had the answer to everything. Heading very active, Clavel danced around Reyes’ attacks and responded with solid power shots.
In the fourth, an explosive left hook to the face forced the Mexican back. She followed up with several successful combinations in the fifth and sixth.
Reyes landed his best shot in the eighth, but it was illegal: a head kick clipped Clavel above the left eye. Bleeding heavily, Clavel seemed to slow down a bit, while Reyes seemed to gain confidence. She also had her best round since the first to the ninth.
The two boxers forgot the defense at 10e, which resulted in a frenzied round. While Clavel was hit on a few occasions in this assault — including a solid uppercut — she also landed big hooks to her opponent’s head.
“She hadn’t come out of the fight, whereas on films, she often threw from below, noted Clavel. I was like, “Oh yeah? My little cr…!” »
No matter: the job was done.