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Nery Plata narrowly beats Clavel to unify world titles

Nery Plata narrowly beats Clavel to unify world titles featured image
Jessica Nery Plata (left) became a unified women's Junior Flyweight champion after beating Kim Clavel (right) for her WBC title.

Mexican champion Jessica Nery Plata came out on top in a tough clash with Canadian Kim Clavel. Both sought to unify their world titles against each other, following the cancellation of their Junior Flyweight unification bout in December. Nery Plata unified for the first time of her career as a result of her win. Their match was held at the Place Bell, in Quebec, Canada, on January 13th. The judges’ scorecards of 97-93 twice, and 96-94 reflect how close the fight was.

Kim Clavel (16-1, 3 KO’s) suffered her first professional loss as a result. A former decorated amateur, Clavel seemed to be outworked by the lesser experienced Jessica Nery Plata (29-2, 3 KO’s), who did enter the match with professional experience. Plata was on the front foot throughout virtually the whole fight, and though Clavel didn’t shirk or back down, it was clear that Plata was more comfortable fighting in the pocket than her opponent.

Clavel wasn’t completely outmatched or dominated, however. She showed plenty of fighting spirit and skill, but Plata seemed to edge out the rounds with her sheer determination and surprising power when she stunned Clavel several times, especially in the latter rounds.

Plata now is the sole reigning world champion in her division, as the WBO and IBF titles are still left vacant. Those titles, were previously held by former champion Yokaste Valle (27-2, 9 KO’s) who ended up vacating her titles not long after gaining them in order to be able to unify with Seniesa Estrada (23-0, 9 KO’s) a division below. Valle is currently the Minimumweight division’s only unified champion, and is set to face Estrada somewhere in 2023 for her WBA world title. Her former opponent, Evelin Bermudez (17-1-1, 6 KO’s) will now be facing Tania Enriquez (20-0, 9 KO’s) for the vacated Junior Flyweight titles, giving Nery Plata the opportunity to become undisputed if she faces the winner between Bermudez and Enriquz.