Aged 37 and the underdog for the first time in her career, Katie Taylor wound back the clock at Dublin’s 3Arena last Saturday to outbox the younger, bigger Chantelle Cameron in their thrilling world super lightweight title rematch.
With the 10-round majority points decision, the Connecticut-based Bray native avenged her only professional loss and became a two-weight undisputed world champion.
On the undercard, huge Irish prospect Paddy Donovan scored a spectacular fourth round KO of Englishman Danny Ball to capture the WBA continental welterweight title.
Pummeled by the physical Cameron in the latter rounds of their first meeting at the same arena last May, Taylor put on a masterful boxing performance this time around to negate her younger foe’s power.
She had the packed and raucous 3Arena of more than 9,000 fans on its feet from the opening bell, tattooing Cameron with blistering combinations and bewildering her with movement. That would be the blueprint for a vintage display all night by the London Olympics gold medalist.
Katie Taylor lands a punch on Chantelle Cameron. [Inpho/Evan Treacy]
Cameron, who’s 32, could not solve Taylor’s style the way she had last spring. Bleeding from a cut high on the forehead, the result of a clash of heads in the third round, she landed occasional jabs – her big weapon in May – and some right hands. She was always second best in exchanges, her hands no match for Taylor’s rapid fists.
It wasn’t until the later rounds, with Taylor tiring and clinching, that Cameron had some success with a jarring right uppercut.
Still, it was the former champion fighting back and connecting consistently to the roar of the partisan crowd.
It went to the cards where one judge scored it 95-95, a draw, and the other two had Taylor winning by 98-92 and 96-94 margins, as Cameron [18-1, 8 KOs] suffered her first pro defeat
Taylor, now 23-1 [6 KOs], became just the third prizefighter in history to become a two-weight undisputed world champion. Only Evander Holyfield (at cruiserweight and heavyweight) and Claressa Shields (welterweight and middleweight) have accomplished that.
“Whoever wrote me off, they obviously don’t know me very well,” Taylor said later. “I was nearly upset that I was the underdog going into this fight. Don’t ever doubt me!”
She dubbed the fight her “real homecoming” and raised the prospects of a third clash with Cameron.
“You saw the worst of me in May. You saw the best of me tonight. Let’s get the trilogy in Croke Park,” she declared.
Giving props to Cameron, Taylor remarked: “It takes two to tango and Chantelle is a phenomenal fighter and a phenomenal champion, she deserves everything that she gets.
“To have a trilogy would be a great respect for both of us. I think that is exactly what we both want. She is a legend herself. Two legends of the ring fighting again for the trilogy. I don’t think there’s ever been a trilogy in women’s boxing. This could be the first.”
‘THE REAL DEAL’
Earlier at the 3Arena, Paddy Donovan overwhelmed English champion Danny Ball in four rounds to claim his first professional title.
Co-managed by New York attorney Keith Sullivan and trained by Andy Lee, Donovan’s skill, speed, power and precision were the difference in the scheduled 10-rounder. He had Ball back-pedaling early with blinding combinations.
Paddy Donovan, facing camera, knocks out Danny Bell. [Inpho/Bryan Keane]
No slouch himself, Ball showed good speed and technique but Donovan was able to slip most of his foe’s shots while getting his off. After slipping one punch in the fourth, Donovan clipped his man with a quick right and left to the jaw.
Ball went down and when he arose, was trapped in a corner, where Donovan went off on him with a fusillade of shots.Ball [13-2-1, 6 KOs] escaped from the corner but went down in a heap. His corner threw in the towel while he was still on the canvas, handing Donovan [12-0, 9 KOs] the WBA continental welterweight title in the process.
“Superstars are made on the big stage and I tell you what, Ireland has got a new superstar in Paddy Donovan,” Matchroom impresario Eddie Hearn said of Donovan, whom he promotes.