MONTREAL — It’s a reinvigorated but mostly irritated Kim Clavel who will attempt to steal the World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight flyweight belt from Yesenia Gomez on July 29.
The likeable Montreal boxer put on a completely different face at a press conference on Monday, a month before the most important fight of her career.
We can understand it: this long-awaited duel has already been postponed three times, first because of injuries on both sides, then because of COVID-19, in which Clavel (15-0-0, 3 KOs) was caught in April.
However, it was Gomez (19-5-3, 6 KOs) who broke the camel’s back for the 31-year-old athlete by claiming Clavel faked his infection and sent arrows to his clan.
“I can understand the frustration, but there are things that cannot be said,” decided the Quebecer. Saying that my team is a bunch of shady clowns and that I’m pretending to have COVID didn’t go over well at all.
“I was ill, high fever. It pained me that she thought such a thing. I have something on my mind and I will definitely get it done. She doesn’t know what kind of firewood I’m warming myself by.”
Through an interpreter, the 26-year-old Mexican toned down her remarks but essentially delivered the same message to the fifth boxer who will attempt to steal her crown.
“I’ve been ready since December. It was a long time. I hope Kim is ready this time too. the past is [derrière nous].”
Normally calm and friendly, Clavel taps into a new form of energy in the ring. However, she assures us that she doesn’t get carried away by her emotions.
“I have the ability to channel emotions,” she continued. When I was a nurse we often had emergencies and needed to stay focused and use good judgement.
“Ever since I got this little hate, I broke all my records in high school. I think that will be the same on July 29th. It’s a new vibe and I’m being driven by it right now.
Her trainer, Danielle Bouchard, was at the forefront of creating version 2.0 of her protégé and expressed excitement at seeing her work between the cables.
“It’s the fourth training camp and Kim has never been so ready. More determined than Kim, it’s difficult. I’m excited, I can hardly wait. I’m patient, but my patience has its limits,” she said, laughing.
Lunch at grandma’s and resilience
MONTREAL — After testing positive for COVID-19 in April, Kim Clavel took a short vacation to recharge her batteries. She now shows the rigor and dedication of a female boxer who will be aiming to become a world champion in a month’s time, but still makes time to have lunch with her grandmother each week to “get away from boxing”.
It may seem anecdotal, but this weekly gathering is not trivial for the World Boxing Council Silver Champion. She has not previously given herself any leeway in anticipation of a fight but said she has learned from her recent training camps.
“This is the school of life. In the case of cancellations and injuries, you have to be mentally strong, she said at a press conference on Monday. It’s an education. I’ve talked to psychologists and a lot to my family. I cried, I was angry, I was disappointed.
During his rest period, Clavel took the time to see loved ones to heal his ailments and recognized the importance of keeping both feet on the ground during his preparation.
“This time I go to lunch with my grandmother every Wednesday. She revives me. The week is boxing, boxing, boxing. When we’re together, we don’t talk about it. It’s good for me.”
His work ethic remains unshakable. She simply allows herself to “live her training camp doing things that make her feel good” while respecting her game plan.
“Think boxing, live boxing, sleep like a baby, eat like a nutritionist,” she listed with humor. I’ll do this until July 29th. On the 30th it’s my two “steamed” hot dogs.