Women’s Ratings Update: Chantelle Cameron enters the P4P podium, Beaudoin to No. 5 at 130
It is not everyday that two Ring magazine champions holding eight “alphabet soup organization” belts among them clash in the same ring, but that’s what women’s boxing is delivering these days: the best fighting the best, an idea that their male counterparts would be wise to follow.
Last Saturday, former pound-for-pound queen and current lightweight Ring champ Katie Taylor made her long-awaited homecoming in a new division against unbeaten junior welterweight Ring champion Chantelle Cameron, and the result was a thing of beauty. Two contrasting styles, with Taylor being the more effective puncher, measuring her effort to cause the most damage with a controlled output, while Cameron put it all on the line throwing dozens of punches from all angles trying to overwhelm the local hero.
The result was a close fight in which volume and output won the day, with Cameron holding on to her Ring magazine junior welterweight belt by majority decision, with one card scoring a draw.
The extraordinary level of talent displayed by Cameron, and the magnitude of her win against an all-time great in her backyard, convinced The Ring’s trailblazing Women’s Ratings Panel that it is time for a change of guard in the mythical and always controversial pound-for-pound rating.
“Cameron should be No. 2,” said columnist Mark Jones about our pound-for-pound ratings, currently led by Claressa Shields. “(Cameron) defeated Jessica McCaskill and Katie Taylor, who were both unified champions at the time. Amanda Serrano defeated two good fighters, but both were much lesser in status than Cameron, and she took a lot of punches from Erika Cruz Hernandez.”
“She’d already showed her potential to make the Top 3 P4P and she proved it strongly in this fight against Taylor,” said Japan’s Yuriko Miyata, while Argentine writer and TV producer Yesica Palmetta agreed but adding the caveat that “Katie proved once again that she is a great athlete, but Cameron was too big for her. There was a notorious physical difference. However, it was a very close fight that even a draw would have been good.”
Irene Deserti, co-author with Palmetta of a book chronicling the rise of women’s boxing in their native Argentina, stated that “Cameron’s victory was fair. Two or three rounds were very close, making it difficult to see a winner. Cameron’s pressure was the key, in addition to her strength in this division.” Lupi Gutierrez-Beagle added that “Taylor’s hand speed aside, Cameron was the dominant fighter and clearly wanted to keep her undisputed status.”
Historian Malissa Smitth added that “Cameron truly earned the win and given her consistency across the fight, as well as her ability to adapt to Taylor’s lightning fast flourishes, she not only demonstrated her excellence as a fighter, but her place in the No. 2 spot on The Ring’s pound-for-pound list,” while Puerto Rico’s Boxeo con Lipstick editor Wildalys Figueras-Snow exclaimed “what a fight!! Cameron exerted pressure at all times by connecting strongly with both hands. Taylor at all times tried to counter the attack through speed, but had little success. It was a tremendous fight where Cameron’s physical superiority and relentless attack were the key to victory.”
Elsewhere in the ratings, former junior lightweight titlist Maiva Hamadouche, currently rated at No. 3, announced her retirement due to a recurring injury. Hamadouche, a police officer in Paris, France, held the IBF 130-pound belt since 2016 when she earned it after beating Enis Pacheco, and went on to defend it against the likes of Milena Kolova, Anahi Sanchez, Viviane Obenauf and many others. In her last fight, she was defeated in a very close decision against Mikaela Mayer in what was the inaugural Ring magazine championship fight for her weight class.
“Maiva Hamadouche will be greatly missed in the ring,” said Smith. “She was truly a ‘fighters’ fighter,’ if you will, and brought a lot to the sport.”
With the vacancy created in the junior lightweight ratings, Canada’s Leila Beaudoin was promoted in the No. 5 position.
Diego M. Morilla writes for The Ring since 2013. He has also written for HBO.com, ESPN.com and many other magazines, websites, newspapers and outlets since 1993. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an elector for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has won two first-place awards in the BWAA’s annual writing contest, and he is the moderator of The Ring’s Women’s Ratings Panel. He served as copy editor for the second era of The Ring en Español (2018-2020) and is currently a writer and editor for RingTV.com.