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Jamie ClampittBrenda Bell

Jaime Clampitt vs Brenda Bell Drexel

May 19, 2001 at the Palace Ballroom in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
exclusive ringside report by Kevin Cockle
originally published on the Women's Boxing Page

Pro boxing returned to the Palace tonight for the first time in 60 years, thanks in large part to Jaime Clampitt and her growing local appeal. The refurbished night club, once a vintage movie theatre complete with an upper balcony and a Blue Horizon feel, housed some 275 staunch Clampitt supporters, and treated them to more than a few nervy moments over the course of a rousing, life-and-death four round slugfest. Clampitt was in a real fight tonight, taking real risks with her record and the result was solid, pro boxing entertainment.

Clampitt (5'5", 138½ lbs) in a white and white 2 piece look was every bit the heroine, with many in attendance having an obvious personal connection to the fighter. You could almost hear a gasp when Bell Drexel (5'2½", 137¼ lbs) entered the ring with her shaved skull and hard core appearance - it was perfect casting in terms of dramatic contrast. The idea that this was going to be some kind of Jaime Clampitt home-coming romp quickly disappeared as the opponent could not have looked more dangerous if she had tried. At the opening bell, it became immediately apparent that Clampitt had been put in tough tonight.

The first few seconds of the first round told you everything you needed to know about Brenda Bell Drexel. Walking straight in, clubbing alternate lefts and rights, she proceeded to back Jaime up all around the ring. Brenda was the clear aggressor early, landing loud to the body and driving the Canuck into the corners and ropes with a chugging assault. This was furious action, with Jaime trading hard, sliding along the ropes and trying to use her legs to impose some order on the riot. The components were there for Clampitt - lateral movement, the jab, but Drexel simply walked through it, eager to take in order to give. At the bell, ringsiders were palpably nervous for Jaime. Brenda had come to Calgary to win.

The second was more of the same, but Clampitt began to execute better. In the first, Jaime had been walked down and worked over a little against the ropes - now she stepped back with purpose, walking Brenda into punches, and putting some straight combinations together. The lateral movement was now working to set up Clampitt's counters and midway through the round, she landed a beautiful fish-hook right uppercut under Brenda's chin, lifting the bald pate straight up to cheers from the crowd. Back and forth the action surged - Brenda pounding away to the body and landing hard right hands to the head - Jaime cuter with her feet, chopping the hook and landing right uppercuts.

Brenda Bell Drexel vs. Jaime Clampitt,
courtesy Canadian Pro Boxing SceneIn the third, Clampitt was putting everything together. Starting the round behind a stiff jab, Jaime issued straight combinations and continued to circle, turning her opponent and working at a blistering pace. Drexel refused to be discouraged, continuing to bull her way in and landing plenty, often turning Jaime's head with clubbing overhand rights. At one point, Clampitt did something you don't see too much of in women's boxing yet - she slipped a punch and reversed field on her aggressive foe, neatly changing places with Brenda who momentarily had to stop punching to regain her balance. Then it was right back into the trenches as both women continued to trade to the bell.

The fourth opened with that straight series of lefts and rights to the face from Clampitt which quickly evolved into Jaime improvising to deal with Drexel's constant pressure. Clampitt went to the body with spearing right hands - Drexel answered with a bashing left hook flush on the jaw. No clinching. No form breaks. Jaime landed the overhand right hard to the skull, and turned her foe. Drexel didn't so much cut off the ring as simply close distance, willing to pay the price to get off herself. At the bell, both women were breathing hard, having jammed eight rounds of action into four all too brief heats of punching.

It is difficult to do a fight report live from ringside, almost impossible to do one for a fight this energetic. As for scoring: Drexel was coming forward the entire time, but Jaime did have some success in using that momentum against her. Both women landed clean power shots, although Clampitt's offense was more varied. Jaime's defence was better; Drexel could have been fresher at the end. The judges saw it unanimously in favour of Clampitt via scores of 40-36, 39-37 and 40-37, of which 39-37 seemed the most just. Drexel's record is deceiving - she is to be commended for coming hundreds of miles to a foreign country and giving a very strong crowd favourite all she could handle. I'd pay money to see her take on Liz Mueller next.

For Clampitt, a tremendous test well passed. Everyone knew she could box, but tonight, she showed she could take a shot - to the body and to the chin. That's not all good - Jaime got hit a fair amount tonight by an unimaginative attacker, but the upside is that the fans saw an exciting fight. Perhaps most impressive is that, whether by design or chance, Clampitt took a tough fight in circumstances that didn't seem to dictate such a risk; there's no sense that this woman is being fed cupcakes just to get a one-shot payday down the road. Jaime's management is putting her in with confidence, and that's good for women's boxing.

After the bout, Jaime dedicated the fight to her Grandfather, who had passed away last year after suffering from Alzheimer's disease. To support Alzheimer's research, Jaime auctioned off her silver/white trunks with all proceeds going to charity, and here's a tip: if you plan to bid on Jaime's ring attire, be prepared to drop somewhere in the neighborhood of a thousand large! A classy, charismatic ending to a fine exhibition of skill and durability on the evening.

Kevin Cockle

Many thanks to Kevin Cockle for a dynamite report on a great matchup, and to Warren Rutherford of Canadian Pro Boxing Scene for the fight photo ... Dee

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Page last updated: Thursday, April 8, 2004


Fight Report by Kevin Cockle



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