Chantelle Cameron is congratulated by coach Nigel Travis at 3Arena. INPHO/GARY CARR

BOXING: Katie loses homecoming at 3Arena

Katie Taylor and Chantelle Cameron in action in the ring.

Katie Taylor and Chantelle Cameron in action in the ring.

There were two previous occasions prior to last weekend’s anticlimatical homecoming when Katie Taylor had close calls in the ring, before gutting out victories in front of rousing crowds at Madison Square Garden. The first time she earned a controversial majority decision over Belgian Delfine Persoon in June 2019, and the second, a split points verdict over Puerto Rican multiple world titlist Amanda Serrano in April 2022.

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At age 36, third time proved no charm for “Queen Katie,” now 22-1 [6 KOs] in another bruising 10-rounder. Clearly, Chantelle Cameron, Taylor’s opponent in the scrap between two undefeated opponents for the undisputed world super lightweight championship, had not read the script.  

What was meant to be a triumphant homecoming by one of the greatest women boxers in history ended in disappointment for the thousands of fans at Dublin’s 3Arena.

Cameron, bigger and younger foe [by four years], was relentless in a fast-paced scrap. Ranked #7 on ESPN’s pound-for-pound women’s rankings,  according to the network, she landed more total punches [141], more power punches [114] and more body punches [37] than Taylor, who is #2 in the ESPN pound-for-pound rankings.

Cameron [18-0, 8 KOs] had Taylor on the backfoot early, taking the fight to the icon and connecting frequently. Taylor fought in spots and when she turned on the heat, was simply unable to sustain the kind of offensive that had turned her equally challenging fights against Persoon and Serrano around.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying. She was able to rally and win two of the final three rounds.  But after 10 stanzas, Cameron had piled up enough points to get the nod, although she admitted fearing the worst before the results were announced.

"I was petrified," said Cameron. "I had seen it before in boxing, it had happened to my team before. So yeah, I was petrified that I was not going to get the decision."

At any rate, she was awarded a majority decision by scores of 96-94, 96-94 and 95-95. Cameron retained her WBO, IBF, WBC, WBA and WBO super lightweight titles, while handing Taylor her first professional loss and avenging an amateur defeat to the Bray native.

Asked if she thought she won the fight, Taylor told ESPN: “I'm not sure to be honest. I have to go back and look at it. It was obviously a very, very close fight. It was not how I wanted my homecoming to go. But I'm just so grateful for the support to be honest."

Not surprisingly, expect Taylor-Cameron II in the fall. Both Taylor and her promoter Eddie Hearn said that they’d exercise a rematch clause in the contract.

"We'll be doing this fight again in Dublin in autumn this year," said Hearn.


At the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nico Ali Walsh battled to a split draw with Danny Rosenberger in their eight-round middleweight contest.

Ali Walsh worked from a high guard where he tried to pepper Rosenberger with quick jabs and right hands to the body, but Rosenberger used his footwork to prevent Ali Walsh from establishing his offense.

Ali Walsh attempted to work on the inside, but Rosenberger would tie him up before finding the center of the ring and continuing to box on the outside. Scores were 77-75 for Ali Walsh, 77-75 for Rosenberger and 76-76.

Muhammad Ali’s grandson is now  [8-0-1, 5 KOs], while Rosenberger is [13-9-5, 4 KOs].