PROMOTER Eddie Hearn described it as the “rematch of the year” before Chantelle Cameron and Katie Taylor spoke at today’s press conference in Dublin.
On November 25, Cameron, 18-0 (8), must once again travel back to the Irish capital to defend her quartet of super-lightweight titles against Taylor at the 3Arena, the same venue where a fresher and more determined Cameron gave the 37-year-old her first taste of defeat in 23 professional fights.
For that fight Taylor stepped up in weight five pounds, with her own four belts at lightweight safe for the evening. After losing on points, and having produced a below-par performance, some have now questioned whether Taylor, 22-1 (6), has what it takes during this advanced stage in her career to defeat Cameron at the second time of asking.
Cameron, who is the favourite this time around, confessed she cringed when watching back her biggest win to date with trainer Jamie Moore. “For me I’ve just got to be better,” the 32-year-old said. “Me and Jamie have been going over the fight over and over and I’m kind of sick of watching it because I did make so many mistakes and I cringe at myself. I definitely look back at that and [I’ve] definitely got more gears in me. Come back to Dublin and do the business again and carry on with my career.”
The build-up to the first encounter doubled as a homecoming for Taylor and a celebration of her achievements prior to facing Cameron. Come fight night the away fighter walked first and was made to wait for the home favourite to make her way to the ring in front of an expectant crowd.
“I think you’ve actually done us a favour coming back to Dublin,” Cameron’s trainer Jamie Moore told Eddie Hearn.
“Obviously, we would have liked a homecoming [or] even neutral territory, but I think it’s stoked the flame and given her that extra determination that she needs.”
Both women were never in any real danger of being stopped or knocked out when they first fought and, having tasted Taylor’s power, Cameron is confident she can take the fight to her rival once again.
“Jamie and Nigel go mad if I say I can’t be hurt. I kinda lose my defence so I’ve got to make sure I don’t take silly shots as well,” Cameron said. “I can’t be hurt, and I can walk Katie down, so I’ve got that confidence. Just got to make sure I do move my head a bit more. I do have that defence but at the same time I’m not worried I’m going to get stopped.”
Hearn raised that particular point with Taylor and, while the “The Bray Bomber” is not one to engage in any back and forth, she made sure to give her own opinion on the punch power of the naturally bigger fighter.
“I’m expecting the best of Chantelle,” Taylor said. “I’m expecting an improved Chantelle and I’m obviously expecting to improve as well. I’m going to have to adjust and make a few improvements, but I believe I will win this fight and I don’t think Chantelle can hurt me either. We shared 10 rounds together and it was a great, great fight but we’re both stepping into the ring super confident that we’ll come out of it with a win.”
For the second time in her career (the first coming against Amanda Serrano), Taylor is the underdog. Defeating Serrano in a barnstormer at Madison Square Garden last year was the jewel in her crown but beating Cameron will top that, what with the odds stacked against her.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m seen as the underdog or the favourite or whether my name’s on the left hand side or the right hand side,” Taylor commented. “My mindset is exactly the same. We always train to win and I’m willing to push myself to the brink to do that. I have no problem being in the trenches and the last fight was a fantastic fight, a close fight, and we have a chance to step through the ring again and do that [again].
“I’m very confident if I perform to my best, I will win this fight. Regardless of who’s on the other side I think I win when I’m at my very, very best.
“To have another chance, and another big fight here, is so special. To have another history making fight, another chance to be a two-weight undisputed champion… this is the biggest fight of my career so far.”