Women’s Ratings Update: Cameron lifts the first-ever 140-pound Ring belt, jumps to No. 6 at P4P
The junior welterweight title unification bout that took place last Saturday, Oct. 30 between WBC titlist Chantelle Cameron and IBF beltholder Mary McGee (No. 1 and No. 2 in The Ring Women’s Ratings, respectively, coming in) became the main event of a talent-laden card when the original main event (Dillian Whyte vs Otto Wallin) was cancelled.
But Cameron-McGee proved more than worthy of its newly acquired main event status, and the winner of the bout also proved to be worthy of the historic honor bestowed upon her: the inaugural Ring magazine 140-pound championship belt.
Cameron (15-0, 8 KOs) stayed unbeaten and grabbed the first-ever Ring belt in women’s boxing history in her division with a masterful dismantling of a physically bigger McGee (27-4, 15 KOs), who was unable to translate her size and length advantages into anything other than a few spirited but futile attempts to turn the fight into a brawl.
Cameron boxed beautifully, imposing her speed, timing, footwork and overall boxing ability to score a win that not only earned her the Ring belt, but also propelled her two positions further up in the magazine’s pound-for-pounds listings as well.
The belt came as an automatic reward with her win, but not everyone agreed with her bump up in the pound-for-pound rankings.
Some panelists though she should be ranked even higher.
“Personally, I’d move her to No. 4 were she resides on my list,” said Mark Jones. “I think she’s more skilled than both McCaskill and Persoon. Cameron defeats every fighter from 135-147. A super-fight between Cameron and Katie Taylor is inevitable, (and) I’d favor Cameron.”
For most panelists, however, Cameron’s new placement is just fine, and there will be ample room for improvement for her in the near future.
“Chantelle Cameron’s performance is worthy of moving her to the No. 6 spot,” said boxing historian Malissa Smith. “She showed true boxing mastery with great footwork, positioning, use of levels, shot selection, and champion’s heart, and is truly a fighter to watch.”
“(Cameron’s win) against the experienced McGee was a pleasure for viewers who still doubt the kind of spectacle that women’s boxing can offer,” said Argentina’s Yesica Palmetta, while Puerto Rico’s Wildalys Figueras-Snow added that “Cameron looked very imposing, with a very precise offense and you could see the diversity of her techniques and resources.”
With Cameron moving on to the championship spot at 140 and thus vacating the No. 1 spot, every other fighter was bumped up and a new spot opened up at the bottom of the top 5, and the shutout scored by Cameron also implied that McGee was due for a demotion as well.
With that, former No. 3 Erica Farias became the new No. 1 over McGee, against whom Farias owns a victory. McGee stays at her old No. 2 position after her loss, while the new No. 5 vacancy is filled by Canada’s Jessica Camara.
In the welterweight division, Switzerland’s Ornella Domini (No. 3) was bumped out due to inactivity, and No. 4 Victoria Bustos, who had a win in her native Argentina over the weekend, took her place instead. Poland’s Ewa Piatkowska was brought in at No. 5 to fill the vacancy.
“Bustos seemed to be sharper,” said Smith about Bustos’ performance, while Figueras-Snow argued that “Bustos had a fair victory, with a neater game and a clear attack.”
Although their fight did not affect the current rankings, the panel discussed Jackie Nava’s shutout win over her fellow Mexican legend Mariana Juarez in a very emotional fight that took place on Saturday as well.
Both Nava (No. 1 at junior featherweight) and Juarez (No. 5) are 41-years old, and they are considered women’s boxing pioneers in their country. Together they produced a memorable bout won by a superbly trained and conditioned Nava over 10 fast-paced rounds, but the result did not warrant any moves in their current standing in our rankings.
“What a great presentation by Jackie Nava!,” exclaimed Palmetta. “Her speed, the quality of the movements along with the execution of the blows, were exquisite and worthy of recognition,” she said, while Smith added that “Nava’s performance was so perfect from her shot selection, use of angles, levels, superb footwork, feinting and comedic moments as she cocked her “bolo” punch, that I am ready to make her our No. 1 pound-for-pound!.”
Although a proposal was made to have Nava join the elite top 10 ranking, she was found to be clearly at a disadvantage when compared with other younger fighters with so much potential, but the talent was still evident and the athleticism was simply superb.
“I saw Nava really unstoppable, very fast, accurate and precise,” said Irene Deserti, who has followed both of their careers closely in Mexico. “Juarez did not give us her best presentation, but it was a spectacular fight anyway.”
“Jackie Nava is an all-time great, and Juarez has the most wins in the history of women’s boxing,” added Jones, in closing. “Although Nava dominated most the action, it was a great fight to watch. Juarez gave a great effort.”