Mexico’s Yéssica Nery Plata (29-2-3 KOs) has been making a splash in the light flyweight category (108 LB – 48.53 KG) since she beat the great Yesica “Tuti” Bopp of Argentina, who up to that point had made 25 consecutive defenses in 13 years as World Boxing Association (WBA) World Champion. She has an elongated and slender body that does not let the musculature show. She is feminine and very soft-spoken. Her team is composed of two key people, her brother and her father, who is her trainer.
Nery Plata represents a woman with class and as they say in my country, she “kills them by being quiet” since she has proven that she is a tough one, when it comes to professional boxing, she gives a lesson.
She unified the titles in Canada on January 13 when she defeated Canadian former World Boxing Council World Champion Kim Clavel (16-1-3 K.O.). I had the pleasure of supervising this event in the beautiful and snowy (it didn’t stop snowing for a minute) city of Montreal. When I saw Yéssica for the first time the night before the weigh-in coming out of the gym of the hotel where we were staying. She looked good, very calm but very skinny, I would say dry but with lively eyes. The next morning, we headed to the weigh-in at the Montreal Casino. The scales read 107.8 for Kim and 104.4 for Yéssica. Something that almost never happens in world championships, nobody gives away weight just like that.
On the day of the event, the coliseum was getting crowded minute by minute. When it was time for the fight, there were more than six thousand people cheering for the Canadian World Champion, former contestant of the reality show Big Brother Celebrities. The fight began with a war of jabs, with both fighters showing tremendous courage and skill. The effect of the jabs of the Mexican were forceful and caused the bleeding of the Canadian, whose corner could not stop it.
Round by round the two connected, the blood dripped and the Canadian’s face reddened more and more. The Mexican insisted with the jab and the one-two, and when she had the opportunity, approaching the end of the rounds, she succeeded in winning the rounds with forceful combinations to the body and to the head, winning most of the rounds, demonstrating an advantage over the Canadian in technique, with a solid Mexican style which included the defense in her attack with body movement and precise handling of the ring.
The final score was 94-96, 93-97, 93-97 for the Mexican, who showed what race she is made of and without any marks on her face, successfully unified both world titles.
As we waited for the bus to pick us up after the event, Nery’s father told me about Nery’s beginnings. “From the age of 5, she had 100 amateur fights of which she won all but two that were stolen from her.” I asked Yessica why she had given away 3 pounds at the weigh-in. “I did it to have more speed during the fight,” boy did it work. She said the toughest battles outside the ring have been the lack of opportunities for women in the sport and the economic shortcomings. We are seeing more and more evidence of how women are earning their place in professional boxing, because of the quality of battles they provide. She emphasized that the hardest part was the loss of her mother, who passed away due to an addiction that she could not overcome.
She wears “I love mom” on her top, who always accompanies her in her heart and drives her to bring out her best potential, creating a new destiny with her fists. Her greatest motivation is her family, her brother and father, who maintain a hopeful look and accompany her in her career. The Plata family, shows us with simplicity what union, discipline, love and commitment to good living can achieve.