Chantelle Cameron Beats Jessica McCaskill for Undisputed Super Lightweight Championship
By David A. Avila
Chantelle Cameron withstood a furious rally by welterweight queen Jessica McCaskill to become the undisputed super lightweight world champion by unanimous decision on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
Despite a cut over the nose, England’s Cameron (17-0, 8 Kos) jumped out in front early against the hard-charging American McCaskill (12-3, 5 Kos) and won the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO super lightweight world titles at Etihad Arena in United Arab Emirates.
For a while it looked like she might have smooth sailing then McCaskill’s boosters kicked in.
“I had to get into a scrap a bit. I tried to get back into my game plan,” said Cameron.
She moved side to side and shot out quick and straight combinations against McCaskill who charged in repeatedly with wide punches that were missing the target in the first few rounds. The Chicago fighter occasionally landed some good blows in the second round, but Cameron made the necessary adjustments and her straighter punches were winning the fight.
The motor for McCaskill seemed to be stuck in first gear.
Around the fifth round the undisputed welterweight champion McCaskill, who dropped down a weight division to meet the Brit, began to find effectiveness with straighter punches and less brawling. The fight changed completely.
McCaskill showed off her ability to slip and counter and forced Cameron to change her attack. The entire complexion of the fight morphed into a more competitive battle, not one expected but a style that the Chicago fighter used in earlier fights years ago.
The last three rounds saw each fighter make adaptations with McCaskill more effective as a counter-puncher and Cameron changing from a combination puncher to exchanging single shots.
As Cameron began to tire, McCaskill seemed to gain energy, but the slow start put her in a position where she needed a knockdown or knockout to win. She could not accomplish either. Nor could her opponent.
After 10 rounds one judge scored it 97-93 and two others 96-94 all for Cameron who becomes undisputed super lightweight world champion.
“It was the toughest opponent I ever had. She is undisputed,” said Cameron of McCaskill who retains the undisputed welterweight world championship.
Cameron joins Claressa Shields, Katie Taylor, and Franchon Crews-Dezurn.
A rematch with McCaskill is a consideration.
“I put up my belts so she puts her belt on the line and we can go again,” said Cameron.
The new super lightweight world champion said she also has other options such as a fight with Kali Reis who was unable to defend her super lightweight titles due to health reasons and other obligations.
Cameron now joins the elite group of undisputed world champions.