Featured image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.
Katie Taylor captured the undisputed super-lightweight titles with a majority-decision victory over Chantelle Cameron in their rematch on Saturday.
Northampton’s Cameron won the initial encounter between the pair in May but it was Taylor who got the nod this time around in her second fight on home soil at Dublin’s 3Arena.
One judged scored the bout a 95-95 draw while the remaining two scored in Taylor’s favour (94-96 and a puzzlingly wide 92-98).
Referee Roberto Ramirez Jr also denied Cameron what looked to be a clear knockdown in the first, ruling a tangle of legs was instead behind Taylor’s fall.
Taylor: ‘Don’t doubt me!’
The victory saw Taylor overturn her first professional loss which came following the pair’s initial meeting six months ago.
While she previously held the WBO belt at super-lightweight, victory over Cameron sees her become a two-weight undisputed champion given she already holds all sanctioning body titles down at lightweight.
“Whoever wrote me off obviously don’t know me very well. I was nearly offended I was the underdog for this fight. Don’t ever doubt me,” she told DAZN post-fight.
“Two-weight undisputed champion – that sounds very nice. That was the longest six months of my life waiting for this rematch. I’m so glad I got to do it with my home crowd, this is my real homecoming tonight!”
Promoter Eddie Hearn also heaped praise on Taylor’s achievement and insists she is due at least one more big night on Irish soil before retiring from the sport.
“I’ll tell you something now, I know we say a lot, but for everybody out there in Ireland, Croke Park has to happen. It has to happen. She’s done everything for this sport and deserves it more than anyone,” he said.
“Next Spring/Summer, we will create an event you will never forget. We’re so proud.”
Cameron denied first-round knockdown
The pair fought over ten hellacious rounds in the Irish capital which began with Taylor seemingly floored for the first time in her professional career.
Cameron stepped in with the same stiff jab which was so pivotal back in May and caught a flat-footed Taylor who was sent stumbling back and onto the canvas.
Referee Ramirez Jr ruled out an early 10-8 round for Cameron however, instead adjudging the incident a natural coming together between the pair.
Cameron again sought to replicate her success from the first fight in the early rounds with her jab while Taylor fought in flurries as she looked to win the battles on the inside.
An accidental head clash however opened a wide cut on the left hand side of Cameron’s forehead in the third – a sign of what was to come as Taylor continued to close in with flurries up close.
The bursts of Taylor were catching the eye and drawing a response from the crowd but Chantelle often fought fire with fire as she looked to assert herself like she had done in May.
Taylor’s consistent holding was a clear frustration of Team Cameron’s in the second half of the fight but Ramirez Jr failed to even issue a warning as Taylor continued to capture the attention with her winging hooks.
The fight was close heading into the championship rounds but the greater output of Taylor, often throwing three or four punches at a time, looked to secure her revenge in front of a rapturous home crowd in the capital.