So after months of speculation, it’s going to be the 3Arena, formerly known as The Point in Dublin’s Docklands, and not Croke Park, that will host Katie Taylor's professional homecoming on Saturday next. Initially it was thought that Katie would box Amanda Serrano from Puerto Rico in Croke Park, but that bout didn’t materialize and Katie’s opponent on Saturday will be 31 year-old Chantelle Cameron from Northampton in England. The fight will be shown worldwide on DAZN. It will be the Bray-born boxer’s first professional fight in Ireland as she bids to create even more history and further cement herself as the greatest female fighter on the planet. Cameron achieved a lifetime dream by outpointing the USA’s Jessica McCaskill to be crowned undisputed at 140lbs at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates last November, and she is relishing her first defence against Taylor. Katie is looking forward to the fight. Speaking last week she said: ‘‘I wouldn’t say I fear anything about Chantelle, but I’m aware of the challenge ahead of me. She has a big engine and I’m prepared for that. She is big and strong and I’m prepared for that as well.’’
RUGBY FINALS FOR AVIVA
It’s a big sporting weekend in Dublin with also the two big European Rugby Cup finals at the Aviva Stadium in Ballsbridge. Glasgow Warriors play Toulon in the Challenge Cup Final on Friday night and then on Saturday afternoon Leinster will be bidding to win the Heineken Champions Cup for the 5th time. The only club who have won the trophy five times are French club Toulouse. La Rochelle, who had a big win over English club Exeter in the semi-final, beat Leinster 24-21 in the final in Marseille 12 months ago and they will be bidding to become the first back-to-back champions since Saracens in 2016 and 2017. Leinster coach Leo Cullen and Ronan O’Gara have both won the European Cup as a player and coach so they know what’s involved. Leinster, with a team of internationals will be anxious to gain revenge for the three-point defeat last year and they should win it on home territory.
Meanwhile it has been confirmed that Irish referee Joy Neville will make rugby union history in France later this year when she becomes the first woman to officiate at a men’s World Cup, albeit as a television match official. The 39 year-old from Limerick refereed the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup between England and New Zealand in Belfast.