Chantelle Cameron lived up to her vow to ruin the long-awaited homecoming for Katie Taylor.
Her only concern after ten incredible rounds of championship action is if the judges also saw it that way.
Those concerns were alleviated when the unbeaten Englishwoman left Dublin’s 3Arena with a well-earned, majority decision win Saturday evening in their DAZN main event.
“I was petrified,” Cameron admitted during her DAZN post-fight interview. “I’ve seen it before in boxing, it’s happened to my team. I was petrified I wouldn’t get the decision.”
Judge Raul Caiz Jr. (95-95) had it even through ten rounds, overruled by judges Craig Metcalfe (96-94) and Patrick Morley (96-94) for the visiting Cameron who defended her undisputed junior welterweight championship.
The outcome left the legendary Taylor (22-1, 6KOs) with her first career defeat. Concerns of Cameron not getting a fair shake on the road were in line with boxing’s sordid history of strange officiating, particularly given Taylor’s place as boxing and Irish royalty. The 36-year-old from Bray is often and rightly credited with elevating the profile and pay scale for women boxers.
Cameron (18-0, 8KOs) herself offering high praise for her challenger throughout the promotion for an event originally reserved for Taylor’s anticipated rematch versus Amanda Serrano (44-2-1, 30KOs). The first pro appearance in her home country was always meant as the one event to absolutely nail on the first try, which prompted Taylor’s team to secure part two with Serrano even before the Brooklyn-bred Puerto Rican southpaw defeated Erika Cruz to become undisputed featherweight champion in February.
Serrano had to walk through hell to fully unify the division and was also forced to deal with a pre-existing injury that never fully healed by the time she withdrew from this event. Cameron agreed almost immediately to fill the void and knew—even as the naturally bigger fighter—she had to leave no doubt even in close rounds to leave Ireland with her championship reign still intact.
“It was a close fight,” acknowledged Cameron. “Katie is a great fighter, pound-for-pound the best woman boxer there is. I turned up for the occasion.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox