Mexico’s Jessica Nery Plata Wins Fierce Battle Over Kim Clavel for WBA, WBC Light Fly Titles
By David A. Avila
(Photo by Lupi Gutierrez)
Mexico’s Jessica Nery Playa used her height and reach to defeat Canada’s Kim Clavel in a blistering back and forth unification match between light flyweight world titlists on Friday.
It was fierce.
WBA titlist Nery Plata (29-2, 3 Kos) ventured to Laval, Canada and proved a little more dominant in her punching against Clavel (16-1, 3 Kos) at the Place Bell arena and in front of a boisterous crowd.
It was another sizzling female title match that proved to be even better than advertised.
Clavel started quickly in the first two rounds against Nery Plata. Both used their jabs vigorously as a point of reference on how to proceed in the fight.
It was soon clear that the slightly taller Mexican had a longer reach and used it effectively in keeping Clavel at arm’s length. It was also clear that the Canadian fighter had the speed advantage but Nery Plata was connecting at a better rate with power. That became the norm for the remainder of the fight.
Around the fifth round during a fierce exchange between the two champions, Clavel emerged with a bloody nose. Nery Plata’s left hook seemed to find the target every time she let loose.
Still, Clavel attacked furiously with speedy combinations against the veteran Mexican fighter. At times, both would unleash ferocious blows with neither willing to step back an inch.
From the sixth round on it seemed Nery Plata was gaining confidence and momentum but Clavel refused to yield.
The Mexican fighter had perhaps her best round in the seventh when she rattled off a seven-punch combination and forced Clavel on her heels. The Canadian fighter refused to submit and countered with her own big shots. A fierce exchange at the end of the round saw Nery Plata connect with a flush big right after the bell. Clavel remained stoic.
As Clavel sat in her corner with welts and blood on her face, it was apparent that Nery Plata was in control of the fight. But with three rounds remaining anyone could still win the fight. The early rounds seemed to favor Clavel.
The Canadian fighter charged forward in the seventh with combinations and was met by the Mexican fighter’s lefts to the body and head. Clavel found it a little more difficult to land cleanly against the taller fighter, but continued the battle.
The crowd cheered deliriously.
The crowd roared even louder in the last two rounds. Everyone knew the fight was close and the action was twice as much as any of the other fights that preceded during the night.
Both champions refused to quit and punches flew and it was apparent that a “Fight of the Year” candidate was taking place in January.
Nery Plata and Clavel connected with helacious blows and when it seemed that a punch might lead to a knockdown, the victim would return with their own hammering blow. Both exchanged with little concern for their safety. Even a few seconds after the bell Nery Plata unleashed a big right cross. Clavel barely flinched and instead both champions hugged.
After 10 rounds two judges scored it 97-93, and another 96-94 all for Nery Plata who now holds the WBC and WBA light flyweight titles.
Marie Pier Houle (8-0-1) escaped a loss with help from poor judging that saw Mexico’s Marisol Moreno (6-4) out-work and out-box the hometown fighter in an eight round welterweight fight. One judge actually gave Pier Houle every single round.
Though Pier Houle did connect with some solid shots she received far more in almost every round by the always busy Moreno. The Mexican fighter fought from a distance and kept Pier Houle at the end of her punches but was not credited by the judges.
The scores were 77-75, 79-73 and 80-72. It might have been Moreno who should have received those scores. One good performance came from the referee who did a superb job,
Canada’s amateur champion Caroline Veyre (2-0) showed off a smooth attack and concentrated attack in defeating Mexican veteran Estefania Franco (4-6) by unanimous decision after six rounds.
Veyre, 34, represented Canada in the Tokyo Olympics and is a national champion. In only her second pro fight the featherweight fighter displayed polish punching including a very stiff left jab. After six rounds all three judges scored it 60-65 three times.
Mazlum Akdeniz (18-0) knocked down Mexico’s Cristian Bielma (19-5-2) several times but just couldn’t finish the job. After 10 rounds Akdeniz won by unanimous decision 100-87 three times in a super lightweight fight.
A middleweight match saw Derek Pomerleau (4-0) win by unanimous decision over Gustavo Rodriguez (3-2-1).
Eric Basran (3-0) beat Juan Carlos Ramirez (4-3) by decision in a lightweight bout.