Clampitt says Holm fight could be crowning achievement – after daughter's birth
Story by Chris Cozzone
Photo by Emily Harney
Former world champ Jaime Clampitt did not expect to fight again after giving birth to her daughter last year. Weight gain during pregnancy, the desire to train, let alone fight, were all concerns.
“I wasn’t sure how it was all going to play out,” recalls Clampitt. “Being a mom – it was a really big deal for me.”
Seven months later, however, Clampitt found herself back in the ring, outboxing 4-2-1 fighter Rachel Clark over six rounds. Four months later, Clampitt was back in the title picture, edging contender Jill Emery for a six-round majority decision.
“At first I wanted to see if I had another fight left in me,” says Clampitt. “When I found out I did, I came to realize that I wanted to end my career on top.
“That is what this fight is about.”
This Friday, Canadian-born Clampitt (21-4-1, 7 KOs), fighting out of Warwick, R.I., will take on women’s boxing pound-for-pound champ Holly Holm (27-1-3, 7 KOs) at the Hard Rock of Albuquerque. The card is billed as “Northern Invasion” and promoted by Fresquez Productions.
“This is the biggest fight you can get right now,” says Clampitt. “I never thought I’d get to this point – Holly Holm is in a different class than the others out there.
“Win, lose or draw, I’m going to be happy.”
Clampitt is not saying she is definitely hanging up the gloves after Friday night – but if she can score the upset, it’s going to be a much easier decision.
“I’m looking to finish my career very soon,” Clampitt admits. “It’s very hard to balance everything in my life and it’s been getting to that point. Your family, husband and daughter comes before being a boxer.
“But it’s also a blast. It’s a privilege to be in there.”
Clampitt cannot say for sure what will happen Friday night, in the ring with Holm, but she’s coming prepared.
“I’m a realist,” she says. “Sometimes someone is better than you, and that’s part of the game. But I have one of the biggest hearts in boxing and I will fight to the end and do what I can to beat her.
“My game plan? I guess you can say my game plan is sticking to my game plan. Holly is very good, very technical – but anybody is beatable, no matter who you are.”
Clampitt’s toughest fight to date was a draw with Eliza Olson in 2004.
“That girl is tough, tough,” says Clampitt. “I hit her with everything I had and she kept on coming. That fight made me a stronger person.”
Used to fighting in Rhode Island, Clampitt says she is not worried about a pro-Holm crowd at Hard Rock. Nor is she concerned about a hometown decision, her promoter, Jimmy Burchfield, having secured neutral judges for the fight.
“I’ll have a good crowd from Canada and Rhode Island to cheer me on,” says Clampitt. “Plus, I’ve been there before, on someone else’s turf. It doesn’t bother me at all.”
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