Kim Clavel (right) and Jessica Nery Plata at the press conference to announce their unification fight. (Photo via Twitter @yvonmichelGYM)
The second Ratings Update of 2023 is here. And although there was only one relevant fight worthy of evaluation during the past weekend, we can proudly say that the Fight of the Year race is already on.
In a barnburner, Mexico’s Jessica Nery Plata outworked, outmuscled and largely outboxed Canada’s Kim Clavel to add Clavel’s WBC junior flyweight belt to her own WBA strap. It was a career-defining win for Plata, who was also coming off a win over a legend in Argentina’s Yesica Bopp in her previous outing.
With this win, Nery Plata was promoted to No. 2 in the 108-pound division, a significant improvement over her previous No. 5 position and jumping over Evelin Bermudez (who will have her own chance to regain her position against Tania Enriquez later this year).
With the loss, Clavel, who was previously rated No. 3, drops to No. 4.
“What a fight!,” said Lupe Gutierrez-Beagle, of Beautiful Brawlers. “Plata has some experience that Clavel is still gaining,” while Rincon Rojo magazine editor Irene Deserti agreed in saying that “the fight between Clavel and Nery Plata was really spectacular! The victory of the Mexican was really forceful and left no doubts, or at least not as many doubts as were left when she beat Bopp.”
Argentine writer and historian Yesica Palmetta agreed in saying that “Plata was able to consolidate and reaffirm her boxing skills after the doubts that had remained around her triumph over Bopp. In front of Clavel she left no doubts; she knew how to use her physical condition, taking advantage of her height and reach advantages, and applying the most precise and effective blows.”
“I thought Plata did a fantastic job of managing the ring, bringing it to Clavel with her devastating combinations, hand speed and movement,” said historian Malissa Smith, while columnist Mark Jones said that “Clavel is a good fighter with a good record, but Nery Plata faced better competition and had far more experience (242-103) in rounds boxed. Plata is building an impressive resume, now holding victories over Yessica Bopp, Ibeth Zamora Silva, and (now) Clavel.”
Diego M. Morilla has written for The Ring since 2013. He has also written for HBO.com, ESPN.com and many other magazines, websites, newspapers and outlets since 1993. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an elector for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has won two first-place awards in the BWAA’s annual writing contest, and he is the moderator of The Ring’s Women’s Ratings Panel. He served as copy editor for the second era of The Ring en Español (2018-2020) and is currently a writer and editor for RingTV.com.