Chantelle Cameron stuns Katie Taylor in Dublin to remain undisputed super-lightweight world champion
Chantelle Cameron produced a stunning display to hand Katie Taylor a first professional defeat and remain undisputed super-lightweight world champion.
Despite coming into the fight defending her belts, Cameron was seen as a major underdog for the Dublin contest, which was the first home bout of Taylor’s seven-year professional career.
Cameron was ultimately rewarded for being the most aggressive fighter throughout a breathless 10-round contest, scoring a majority decision which moves her to 18-0 as a professional.
Taylor, who remains undisputed champion of the lightweight division and a hugely influential figure in the sport, drops to 22-1.
“It was a close fight,” Cameron said in the ring after her victory. “Katie’s a great fighter, pound-for-pound best woman boxer there is, and I turned up for the occasion.”
Any doubts as to whether Cameron would be able to cope with the hostility coming her way from a partisan sold-out crowd were quickly dispelled as the 32-year-old immediately got on the front foot.
Taylor rallied in the second, showing the speed and timing that helped her to a 2012 Olympic gold medal to counter Cameron’s aggression.
Many had expected the 36-year-old to be able to make a fast start, but Cameron wasn’t perturbed and edged a tight third.
However, it was the fourth and fifth two-minute periods where the English fighter broke the contest open, repeatedly landing heavy shots with Taylor struggling to find any answers.
Cameron’s dominance was reflected by the power of her punches loosening Taylor’s tightly braided hair, which hung—perhaps irritatingly—over her right eye for much of the fifth round.
The hair was eventually taken care of, but Taylor’s main obstacle, Cameron, remained unmoved despite a frantic sixth round in which the pair stood at close quarters trading heavy blows.
While Taylor gave as good as she got in the exchange, it appeared to take more out of her than Cameron, who produced a dominating seventh, punctuated by perhaps her cleanest punch of the fight – a thudding right hand.
Taylor rallied to get the better of the eighth and provide the passionate home fans with hope of a comeback, but Cameron held firm in two tight rounds to finish.
While the consensus at ringside was that Cameron had done enough, there remained great tension until it was confirmed that two judges had scored it 96-94 in her favour, with the third calling it a 95-95 draw.
Cameron admitted afterwards she was concerned the decision could have gone with the home fighter.
“I was petrified (of a bad decision),” Cameron said. “I’ve seen it before in boxing and it’s happened to my team before.
“She’s so fast, she’s rapid, she’s tough – she’s one of the greatest female boxers there is.”
Taylor ‘looking forward’ to rematch
Taylor said she would wait to watch the fight back before offering her own verdict on the judges’ decision, but was generous in her praises towards Cameron.
However, her insistence that she will take up a rematch clause, suggests the rivalry is far from over.
“It’s not how I wanted my homecoming to go,” Taylor said.
“I’m just so grateful for the support regardless.
“Congratulations to Chantelle on a fantastic performance, thanks so much for the opportunity to fight for your belts, and looking forward to the rematch.”
As for Cameron, her retort that she wants to challenge for “someone else’s titles” suggests that after a possible rematch she might look to take on the same challenge Taylor did in going up a division in search of more titles.