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Jaime Clampitt-Hayes will be among seven modern era boxers who will be honored at the seventh annual induction ceremony of the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame (IWBHF) on August 29th at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Others include Kelsey Jeffries, Melinda Cooper, Mary Ortega, Sharon Anyos, Isra Girgrah-Wynn and Valerie Mahfood. Also being honored, at what is annually considered the singular event in the sport of Women’s boxing, is pioneer boxer, Graciela Casillas, along with acclaimed boxing photographer, Mary Ann Owen and Shelly Williams.

Pre-sale early bird tickets are available at www.iwbhf.com/tickets.htm. Special group rate for the Orleans Hotel & Casino using code: AIW0C08.

Jim Bouton was a major league pitcher and author of the best seller “Ball Four.” He also, once, succinctly, defined the passionate connection the best athletes have with their given sport: “you spend a good part of your life gripping a baseball, and, in the end, it turns out that, all the time,

it was just the other way around.” That sense of gripping passion with the sport of boxing came early to Jaime Clampitt-Hayes. “It was a ‘love/hate’ relationship that started building in my teens (in her native Canada) and has remained as a major part of my life,” Clampitt-Hayes told me in a phone call from her home in Rhode Island last week.

That “love-hate” relationship traversed over twenty nine professional bouts, one hundred sixty nine rounds and the anointing of Clampitt-Hayes as a four time world title holder. The career spanned nearly fourteen years. And it is that fact that singularly epitomizes Clampitt-Hayes’ passion for her sport.

On August 6, 2010, ten years into a pro career, Clampitt-Hayes’ journey through the “ups and downs” so prevalent in the sport of boxing, reached a long sought pinnacle, a world title bout with Holly Holm, then the reigning “face” of the sport. In the opening round of the bout in Albuquerque, Holm’s hometown, after an exchange of punches, “Clampitt stumbled and fell.

Suddenly exhibiting signs of intense pain, “Clampitt rolled over on her back and stayed there.” (Albuquerque Journal 8/8/10). It was diagnosed as a “severe stinger“ effecting the spinal nerves, an injury that “paralyzed the one side of my face for two weeks,” Jaime recounted.

And one that would most likely signal the end of the career of even the most dedicated fighter. But that inexorable “grip” of which Jim Bouton spoke, that grip that existed in every fiber of this fighter, raged within Clampitt-Hayes for three years, three months and sixteen days. It finally culminated on August 22, 2013, when Clampitt-Hayes took three steps up into a boxing ring in Lincoln, RI and put, what she considered to be, the proper final stamp on a soon-to-be Hall of Fame boxing career with a six round decision over Domingo Olivia.

The phrase “you can’t make this up” suggests itself, but, in examining Clampitt-Hayes’ career, a better way to view this boxer’s career is through thru the lens of who came out of the other corner. First and foremost, a list of Clampitt-Hayes’ opponents is notable after her first few bouts as a pro.

In her fourth pro bout, Clampitt-Hayes dropped a close majority decision to tough Elizabeth Mueller, who had been in with Sumya Anani and Jane Couch. That effort caught the eye of one Jimmy Burchfield Sr., founder and CEO of CES Boxing in Providence, then and still, “Mr. go-to” in New England boxing. Under his tutelage and management, Clampitt-Hayes’ career progressed apace, facing some of the top boxers in the sport including Couch (twice), Missy Fiorentino (2019 IWBHF inductee), Belinda Laracuente, Mia St. John and Jill Emery, all of which led, deservedly, to the Albuquerque fight card in August, 2010.

Jaime’s 22-5-1 record is, in and of itself, reason enough for the IWBHF induction, but It is the manner in which Jaime Clampitt-Hayes conducted herself, in and out of the ring, letting her loudest voice be her actions between the ropes, while at all times, exuding a professionalism, in and out of the ring, that surrounds those athletes who not only “do boxing” but do it exactly right. And the best of those athletes are often justifiably honored for what they bring to their sport. That is certainly the case with Jaime Clampitt-Hayes and her induction into the International Women ‘s Boxing Hall of Fame.

She continues to be involved in boxing, having opened “On the Ropes Boxing and Fitness” in Warwick, RI, proof positive that, by continuing to give back to the sport she graced for years, Clampitt-Hayes remains positively passionate about what began with a “love-hate” start. And on August 29th, in Las Vegas, that sport will give back to Jaime Clampitt-Hayes one of it’s highest honors. Seems fair.

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