The day after her return from vacation, on February 28, Kim Clavel went to train in “hidden” from her coach, Danielle Bouchard.
“It felt good to get out of the gym, but I can tell you that in the last week, my hands were tickling me. I couldn’t wait to kick a bag, get back to the gym. That’s what I wanted to feel, to miss the most beautiful sport in the world, which is boxing. »
Two months after the first loss of his career, Kim Clavel can’t wait to get back in the ring.
Two weeks after the official start of her preparation, the mid-fly from Joliette (16-1, 3 K.-O.) now knows the identity of her next opponent, the Mexican Naomi Arellano Reyez (9-2, 5 K .-O.), whom she will face on April 28 as part of a gala presented at Place Bell. Three intercontinental belts will be at stake: those of the WBC, the IBF and the WBO.
“I got pushed down the mountain, now I’m going to climb it,” she promised at a press conference on Thursday evening, ahead of the Pascal-Eifert face-off in the evening at the Place Bell.
The 32-year-old boxer was meeting the media at the same venue where she expressed her disappointment, even shame, at letting her fans down on January 13. She lost by decision against Mexican Yesica Nery Plata in a frenzied unification fight for the WBA and WBC world belts.
“Sometimes in the losses, that’s where you learn the most,” said the one who had been stripped of her WBC title.
She pointed out that her idol Amanda Serrano, undisputed featherweight champion, suffered a first setback in her 16th outing (44-2 today).
“I had a loss in my 17th fight. Look at her today: she fills Madison Square Garden and is one of the highest paid in the world. A loss means nothing. It just means you compete against the best, you take risks and people remember your performances. »
Confirmed only Thursday, the belts at stake on April 28 ensure Clavel a duel of 10 rounds, a blessing in the eyes of her trainer.
If she wins, she will position herself well for a next world championship fight, which promoter Yvon Michel is planning for September 22, still at Place Bell. She is currently ranked No. 1 contender in the WBC, fourth in the IBF and third in the WBO.
“We want Kim to become a staple again,” said the CEO of Groupe Gym, who has also booked the Bell Center and Place Bell for a date in December. “Nobody is going to give him a world title fight on purpose. So we want to position Kim. We follow the same plan planned before the fight against Plata. We are going to organize ourselves so that a champion, somewhere, is forced to fight with her. This is the reason why we invested in all these belts. »
So it could be Plata… or another one. “Things change so quickly,” Michel said. This is the reason why we fired all over the place to be sure to hit a target somewhere. »
One thing is certain, Clavel wants to see his faller from January again. “A revenge like that, it is built, it is prepared, she warned. This fight will prepare me to come back victorious against Plata in this duel that all of Quebec is waiting for, I am sure. It will come, be patient, but we will build it all together. »
This scenario must obviously go through a win against Arellano Reyez, recalled Danielle Bouchard. “We have already made small changes in training, she revealed. We are motivated and I can guarantee you that once again, you will have a glowing Kim in the ring. »
Like the Quebecer, the 28-year-old Mexican is coming back from a unanimous decision loss suffered in October against Gabriele Fundora, in a Californian gala presented on Showtime. Two years earlier, she defeated ex-multiple world champion Carina Moreno (25-6 at the time), her greatest feat.
Clavel, who has yet to watch the replay of her loss, studied some videos of her next rival, who is ranked 15th in the division according to boxrec. com.
“I’m expecting a very aggressive girl, who’s going to give a really good show, but I’m going to box differently,” promised the former champion.
The two boxers were originally scheduled to face each other in the summer of 2021 at the IGA Stadium, but the health rules in place had prevented Arellano Reyez from traveling to Canada. She lives and trains in Los Angeles.
She spoke about the “defensive aspect that was maybe a bit more problematic” against Nery Plata. “Usually that’s one of my strengths. And I fought a lot with my emotions. It’s going to be to stay focused and follow the game plan. »
More prosaically, Clavel expressed his desire to be “more bum” in the ring…
Ticket sales for the card, which will also mark the return of Sébastien Bouchard (19-2-1, 8 KOs), from Baie-Saint-Paul, begin Thursday at 9 p.m.