Kim Clavel

Another setback for Quebec boxing: Kim Clavel and Groupe Yvon Michel were forced to postpone the World Boxing Council (WBC) World Flyweight Championship against Yesenia Gomez scheduled for Thursday at the Casino de Montreal since the Montrealer contracted the coronavirus.

Yvon Michel, president of GYM, made the announcement Monday morning after being informed of the state of health of his boxer late Sunday.

Valentin Chatanay near Miss at Fort...
Valentin Chatanay near Miss at Fort William

“Kim was on the line with Stéphan (Larouche) and Danielle (Bouchard, her coaches), and I immediately felt that she felt like she was letting us down,” Michel said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

I wanted to reassure her right away: it’s nobody’s fault. I know she and her team were all very careful throughout the preparation. I told her that she takes care of her health. That is the priority.

Clavel was the victim of an outbreak that affected a few members of his team, including Bouchard, who has affected a few weeks ago and immediately isolated himself from the group.

“She lives it very difficult,” said Bouchard, joined earlier. (…) All we hope is that it is not the long COVID, that after about ten days, Kim is fit enough to resume her activities.

The symptoms Clavel suffers from are also quite virulent.

“These are not jokes. A weakened Kim, in bed, feverish, we don’t see that often, Bouchard explained. When I spoke to her (Monday morning), she told me that she would not be able to train in the afternoon.

How could she have thought she could have done it? But that’s what Kim Clavel is all about: she was disappointed that she couldn’t train today.

Clavel (15-0, 3 KOs) is the No. 1 1 108-pound contender held by Mexico’s Gomez (19-5-3, 6 KOs). This is the third time that this fight has had to be postponed.

Last November, Clavel was injured in training. In January, it was the Mexican who, this time, required more time to prepare for this clash while members of her team had contracted the virus.

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However, she was critical of GYM on social networks.

“This is the second time they have postponed this fight,” she wrote in response to Michel’s announcement on Twitter. I’m sorry for Clavel if it’s true that she has COVID.

I just found out this morning when I’m already at the airport. I do not understand why we have not been warned. It’s not a game.

The gala scheduled for Thursday has therefore been canceled. The other five scheduled fights will be carried over to the May 5 card, which was supposed to mark the return to the ring of Eleider Alvarez, who switched to the light heavyweights or at a later date.

But as bad news never comes alone, Michel announced in the afternoon that Alvarez had also contracted COVID-19 and that his return to the ring was postponed.

“It’s a gala based solely on the world championship between Kim and Gomez,” Michel said of the April 21 card. The other fights are mostly four rounds: we can’t move forward in these conditions.

“The May 5 gala is not based only on one fight (Alvarez’s): several of the other fights would hold the road alone if Alvarez were not to fight,” Michel said Monday, before the news about Alvarez was communicated.

“In addition, two of the boxers involved on this card, Mathieu Germain and Mazlum Akdeniz, were infected in January. There is no guarantee (that they will not be infected again by the disease), but it allows us to be relatively optimistic about the holding of this gala.

A date for the resumption of the Clavel-Gomez clash has not been identified, nor has the one marking Alvarez’s return to the ring.

“When you look at other athletes, whether in boxing or other sports, you still have a good idea of the time needed (to resume their activities),” Michel said. Certainly, Kim will not be able to fight until June.

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That’s the job we’ll have to do: see how his things progress and get along with the Gomez team. They are disappointed and frustrated (…), but it is quite advantageous what happened with Kim. There is nothing we can do.

“We pleaded with the WBC. President Mauricio Suleiman is aware of the situation; it has already happened to other boxers and other events, and it is not a drama for him. The WBC is being asked for a potential date in June.

We will try to get along with the Gomez clan and hope that Kim will recover quickly.

The pandemic continues to shake up the world of Quebec boxing, which has been hard hit since March 2020. As soon as the outbreaks in the province began, four galas planned for that month were canceled.

Boxing then found itself on the siding for several months. Eye of the Tiger Management presented galas in Shawinigan and Rimouski in October and November 2020, but GYM did not resume its activities until March 2021.

“We knew we weren’t fully out of the woods. Michel noted that our December 17 event (featuring Artur Beterbiev at the Bell Centre) took place just before we were out of lockdown again.

We were aware that another wave was sweeping through Quebec. Kim’s clan could not avoid the outbreak that affected the gymnasium.

When I heard the news yesterday, I was not surprised: this is the time we live. You have to deal with that.

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