Saturday, June 10, 2023  |



Pair of Queens

Katie Taylor (left) and Chantelle Cameron will each bring a complete collection of belts to their fight on May 20. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Matchroom)
Fighters Network

The following article was originally part of the May 2023 issue of The Ring, available now to subscribers



“This has the potential to be another ‘Fight of the Year’ contender. The two styles will make it an exciting war. Undisputed champion versus undisputed champion going head-to-head together. The first time this has ever happened.” 

As Katie Taylor bids to become a two-weight holder of all the marbles on May 20, Ireland’s favorite fighting daughter reflects on how the matchup came to fruition: “I should have originally been fighting Amanda Serrano, and I was obviously very disappointed when the fight fell through (due to an injury suffered by Serrano), because I was working very hard towards it and I think a lot of people were very, very excited for the rematch. Unfortunately, that was out of my hands, so I got on the phone to my manager and my coach and we were on the same page. The only fight that really made sense was to step up a weight and fight Chantelle Cameron. That’s a fight which I’ve wanted for a long time, and I know it’s one she’s wanted for a long time as well, but it’s also a fight that a lot of people believe will be even better than the Amanda Serrano one.”

Uncharacteristically, Taylor called out Cameron on Instagram. “I don’t use my social media much, but on this occasion it seemed to be the best way to make an impact. This is a fight I obviously wanted, and we had to get her attention quickly and get this fight over the line. Looks like it worked!”

“I dismiss age being a factor, and I like when people are doubting me.”
– Katie Taylor

Taylor is no stranger to the 140-pound division, having beaten WBO junior welterweight titleholder Christina Linardatou in November 2019, in between lightweight championship bout against Delfine Persoon. However, outside of that one outing, the 2012 London Olympic gold medalist has spent her whole career at 135 pounds, which begs the question, is weight now an issue? “I could make 135 pounds over the weekend if I wanted to. I have a bit more scope to enjoy my food with this training camp, which lets me focus on the training and boxing side of things. I don’t think it’s a big deal moving to 140 pounds. I’ve won a world title in that weight division before and I’m very confident and excited with the challenge, but more so of the possibility of becoming a two-weight undisputed world champion and building a legacy. That would be absolutely huge for me.”

Taylor during a public workout on May 17. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)

As Taylor approaches her 37th birthday, many believe age could be a factor as she takes on the undisputed young gun, five years her junior. She thinks otherwise. “I dismiss age being a factor, and I like when people are doubting me. If you look at some of the best pound-for-pound champions of today, like [Terence] Crawford and [Oleksandr] Usyk, they are probably of a similar age to me. Or even Floyd Mayweather, who went on until he was in his late thirties. I look after my body very, very well and have always lived a very disciplined life. I’m feeling better than ever right now.” 

Cameron is stronger, has height and reach advantages and a great engine. Ireland’s most decorated boxer was quick to dispel any underdog tags. “We’re very aware of the challenge. We know what she’s coming to do. She’s obviously going to try and use her physicality. She’s got a good engine, but so have I, and I’m also very strong and don’t think I’m an easy person to run over. I completely know what their game plan is going to be, and we’re prepared for every angle.” 

Taylor against Natasha Jonas. (Photo by Mark Robinson/ Matchroom Boxing)

Old foe Natasha Jonas, who pushed Taylor to a close points decision in May 2021, has been sending her former Team GB team-mate tactics and advice ahead of the clash. Taylor replied with a big smile, “Well, she lost three or four times to me already (between amateur and pro bouts), so it’s ridiculous that she’s trying to give advice to Chantelle when she’s lost that many times!”

One opponent both fighters have in common in the pro ranks is Missouri-born two-weight world champion Jessica McCaskill. Taylor reflected on Cameron’s victory over “CasKILLA” in November 2022 to become undisputed junior welterweight champion. “She did what she had to do, I guess, and came out as the rightful winner. She won the earlier rounds, but McCaskill won a few of the later rounds. It’s always very hard to look good against someone like her, because she’s just wild and swings and makes it awkward for the opponent.”

With multiple barnburners on her resume for comparison, Taylor explains the magnitude of the Cameron contest. “It could possibly be the biggest challenge of my career. I’ve had a lot of tough opponents in the past, and I’ve definitely had the tougher fights and more experience [with] these big occasions. I think that’s actually going to be one of the telling factors. In fact, I think that’s going to be vital in a fight like this.” 

Having fought on hallowed stages, both sides of the pond, Taylor reflected on how a fight at the 3Arena in Dublin might compare to Madison Square Garden and London’s 02. “This is definitely the biggest fight in my career, and the fact that I have my first fight at home after 22 fights as a professional boxer is huge for me. I keep pinching myself that it’s actually happening. There was a time when I thought fighting in Ireland was never going to happen, and I’m so happy that I’ll be able to put on a show in front of my home fans. These are the people who have backed me and supported me throughout my amateur and professional careers and followed me all over the world. The support is absolutely phenomenal, and I have a chance to bring big-time boxing back to Ireland for the first time in a long time.” 

Should Taylor lose in Dublin, she would still retain her undisputed world lightweight status. However, the multi-decorated champion won’t entertain any negative thoughts. “I don’t think about that or losing at all. Don’t underestimate me, because I will prevail on May 20th.” 

The final press conference. (Photo by Dave Thompson Matchroom Boxing)


There was a time when both fighters competed at 135 pounds, and despite having her sights firmly set on Taylor, Cameron struggled to break through on the big stage. The Northampton native  explained: “I was stuck at lightweight and was mandatory for Katie Taylor, but nothing was happening, so I had to move up for the opportunities. But I feel I’ve naturally grown into 140 now. 

“My whole career has been based around this Katie Taylor fight. Everybody around that division are doing everything they can to get that fight done, because obviously she’s the best at 135 pounds. She’s undisputed, and with everything she’s done for boxing, people want to put themselves in there and challenge themselves against her. For me, in recent years, I’ve lost count of how many times in interviews I’ve been asked, ‘Would you fight Katie?’ and the answer has always been yes, but I genuinely never thought the fight would happen. So, to now be in a training camp preparing for Katie Taylor, even now, it doesn’t feel real.” 

Cameron in the gym two weeks before the fight. (Photo by Mark Robinson)

Cameron recalled the moment social media brought the fight into the public glare. “A couple of months ago, there was talk about me fighting Katie Taylor in September after she boxed Amanda Serrano, but unfortunately Serrano had that injury. Then soon after that was announced, Katie Taylor went on Instagram, called me out and said for all my belts at 140. The moment I saw it, I was rubbing my hands together thinking, ‘Great. Bring it on. And you’re not making me boil down to lightweight!’ Don’t get me wrong. If the fight was at lightweight, I would have made the cut because the opportunity would have been too big to pass up. I’ve got a nutritionist who would have got me down to the weight. If you get a fight like that, you do whatever it takes to make it happen.” 

While she has the ultimate respect for Taylor, Cameron is fully focused on the job at hand. “Women’s boxing wouldn’t be where it is if it wasn’t for the likes of Katie Taylor and Claressa Shields. They got people talking about women’s boxing; they headlined shows and got it on TV. I’ve got massive respect for her, but let’s get one thing straight – that doesn’t mean I’m going to get in the ring and not do what I do best. As soon as that bell rings, I don’t respect anyone. That all goes out of the window until after the fight. An opponent is an opponent, and over-respecting can mean the difference between winning and losing. 

“My team knows how much I’ve wanted this fight and they know what I can do. Nobody has actually seen the best of me, apart from them. They’ve seen what I’m capable of, day in, day out in the gym and that’s why they’re so excited for this one, because they know the best version of me will be in there, come fight night. Katie’s got great speed, great footwork and a good boxing IQ, which is a massive skillset, but I know I’m stronger, younger and can also box. However, I’ve also got the will to win like no other fighter. I’m not there to just take part. I’m there to keep my belts and defeat Katie Taylor.”

“My whole career has been based around this Katie Taylor fight.”
– Chantelle Cameron

Taylor has fought 10 times in the last four years, including two bouts against the Belgian Persoon, a tear-up with Jonas and possibly the greatest women’s fight of all time against Puerto Rican powerhouse Serrano. Cameron reflected on her opponent’s journey and believes now is the time for the passing of the torch. “We’ve seen some weaknesses and that’s what we’re working on, but we won’t give too much away. She’s probably seen flaws in my performances. But those we saw of Katie play to my strengths, and that’s why I think I’m all wrong for her. Katie and her coach said about me not having the same experience as her with the big fights and the big nights, but I think that actually also plays into my hands because I have less miles on the clock and I’m five years younger. I’m massively confident of my engine, I’ve got the gears and I’m making sure my fitness is going to be top notch. This will not be an easy night for Katie Taylor.” 

Cameron will need to summon all her iron will as she walks into a hostile reception in Dublin to take on Ireland’s sweetheart. She remains unfazed. “It doesn’t bother me. It should, really, but I’m there to win regardless of where I am, the crowd and the boos. I’ve got one job to do and I’m tunnel vision to get the result, because at the end of the day it’s just me and Katie in the ring. Tune in on May 20th. It’s going to be fireworks.” 

(Photo by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)


The May 2023 issue of The Ring is available to subscribers. Click here for an annual subscription, or subscribe here to purchase the current month (and access to 10 years of back issues).