All the talk within female boxing as of late has revolved around one word: ‘undisputed’. Claressa Shields achieved it last weekend at middleweight.
On June 1st, Katie Taylor will fight Delfine Persoon to claim similar stardom at 135lbs. But, if they truly want to be undisputed, the undefeated IBO lightweight world champion from Northampton, England – Chantelle Cameron (8-0) – has something to say about it.
Her former promoter, Barry McGuigan, spoke of how Cameron was an avoided fighter. It was also reported that Delfine Persoon didn’t take the opportunity to fight Cameron when it was offered.
“I didn’t see the proof of it, but apparently she turned down the fight,” she told me over the phone. “That was a little frustrating for me as Delfine and Katie are the main ones at lightweight and if I wanted to test myself, I need to be tested against the best. It would have been great for me to get the experience as well. I’m not one of those boxers who’s looking to protect my ‘0’. I want to get in there and test myself.”
So, with Taylor fighting Persoon for the so-called ‘undisputed’ title, surely it would be logical for the winner to fight the undefeated Northamptonshire pro to truly claim the undisputed crown?
“That would make sense, yeah. That’s my argument to it. The IBO (title)- I’m holding that. Why not fight me? If you want to become undisputed, then you may as well give me the shot and get through me.”
Having seen the Persoon fight disappear and Taylor not imminently looking to collide with Cameron in a British-Irish battle, she may need to show a little patience and see what happens on June 1st.
“It was a little frustrating because obviously I want to be in them big fights. I’ve been out of the ring for six months and I’ve been really frustrated about it. I feel like I was forgotten about. Now I’ve got to build back up again, which I don’t mind because I’m ready to make statements again. I feel like I’ve done that in my career anyway, stopping people who’ve not been stopped (before). I’m ready to kick on from here really and hopefully I get a fight with them in the future. Either one of them, whoever wins or loses could fight me.”
Taylor vs. Cameron would not only be the aforementioned British-Irish classic. It would see two, should Taylor win, undefeated boxers putting their ‘0’ on the line. The IBO champ has confidence she’d be a game opponent for Taylor.
“I think she’s got more experience. I think we’ll be a very good fight. She’s a great athlete and a great role model. I wouldn’t say she’d beat me with ease. I think it’d be a 50/50 fight. Our styles alone would make for a very interesting fight. I do think I have the capability of beating her. I think I’m the one who could beat her.”
Recently, talk has emerged of Cameron wanting to win a world title in another weight division. She’s been quite dominant whilst defending the IBO lightweight title and feels that super-lightweight offers more options to explore.
“I feel there’s still more for me at 135lbs. I just feel like it’s a good time to get more fights going up to super-lightweight. At super-lightweight, there’s some good fighters, Jessica McCaskill, Victoria Bustos and others. So, I think moving up in weight is going to make sense for the fights I want.”
The twenty-seven year-old has no intentions of vacating her IBO 135lbs title, instead she hopes to defend world titles in two weight divisions concurrently.
Following a split from trainer, Shane McGuigan and Cyclone Promotions, the former kick-boxer has linked up with the highly respected Jamie Moore. It’s a match made in pugilistic heaven as far as Cameron is concerned and I could sense the enthusiasm in her voice as she spoke to me about the collaboration.
“It’s brilliant. I feel like quite a bit has been changed. I’m a bit more technical now, instead of looking for power all the time. I’m always coming forward because that’s my style, but obviously there’s going to be a situation one time where someone is going to be stronger than me and push me back and because I’ve not really trained that, they’ve been having me practising (on the back foot) – also, coming forward, but being a bit more slick coming forward. Lots of head movement, picking my shots and I’ve been working a lot on my body shots. I like to throw body shots, they’re working now (I’m) throwing them with more venom. I’m making them count, going through the body. I’m loving it. I feel like a beginner again.”
Chantelle Cameron boxes Feriche Mashauri on Friday 26th April at York Hall in London on an MTK Global show.
Ian Aldous is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @ian7685