Cameron Defeats Taylor in Battle of Undisputed Champions in Ireland
By David A. Avila
It was a bad night for Ireland as England’s Chantelle Cameron powered her way through Irish Katie Taylor’s speedy attacks with a two-fisted body attack that led to a majority win in retaining the undisputed super lightweight championship on Saturday.
“It was a very, very close fight,” said Taylor.
In a battle between two undisputed and undefeated champions Cameron (18-0, 8 Kos) ended Taylor’s (22-1, 6 Kos) undefeated record and proved before a sold-out crowd at 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland that in the 140-pound division she is the queen. She also retains the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC, WBA world titles.
Taylor displayed her sizzling hand-speed in the first round that drew roars from the appreciative Irish crowd, but Cameron walked through the blows to deliver gut-busting body shots that sapped the energy of the lightweight challenger round after round.
The two champions had faced each other several times as amateurs, but this was a professional fight and the extra rounds and extra weight proved favorable to Cameron who was visibly bigger and stronger than Taylor.
The body attack by Cameron proved to be the game plan for Cameron who focused on the abdomen of Taylor and that proved to be important in slowing down the quick-footed Taylor. Constantly Cameron pounded away at the body and despite quick counters and combinations from Taylor, it wasn’t enough to keep the super lightweight champion from boring in with heavy blows.
In the third round Taylor’s hair braids came undone and she flailed away despite being unable to see. It was a telling sign that things were not going right.
Cameron and Taylor exchanged almost every round but during the mid-point of the fight it was obvious that the British fighter was composed and determined to focus on big telling blows. Taylor unleashed her patented lightning blows but they never seemed to hurt Cameron.
In the seventh round Cameron opened up with a right uppercut and seemed determined to stop Taylor from rallying. She pounded away at the Irish fighter’s body anytime she closed the distance. It was her best round since the third.
During the last three rounds Taylor seemed exhausted, but staged a rally behind combination blows that excited the crowd. Cameron remained focused on targeting the body and mixing in head shots.
It proved to be a winning formula as two judges scored the fight 96-94 for Cameron and a third judge 95-95 for a majority decision win for the British fighter. The crowd booed the decision.
“It was a grueling 10 rounds,” said Taylor. “I guess I came up short.”
It was Taylor’s first loss as a pro and the second time Cameron defeated an undisputed champion. She beat welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill a year ago.
“I just beat two undisputed champions,” said Cameron.
Matchroom Boxing Promoter Eddie Hearn said that a rematch clause will be invoked.
“Tonight belongs to Chantelle Cameron,” Hearn said, adding that a rematch will probably take place in Dublin.
Mexico’s Jose Felix Jr. (40-6-1, 31 Kos) walked in the underdog against Ireland’s knockout artist Gary Cully (16-1, 10 Kos) but demonstrated experience pays off with two knockdowns and the knockout win in the third round.
Cully, a very tall hard-hitting southpaw at 6-2 in height, was eager to show off to the Irich crowd but was caught in-between blows by Mexican knockout artist after three rounds. A counter-right blast sent Cully to the floor. He got up but was pummeled and went down again. Though he got up again and fired back he received a hammering left hook that forced the referee to stop the fight at 2:34.
Cully’s corner wanted it stopped earlier but the referee did not see the towel thrown into the ring.
Felix screamed ecstatically.
Liverpool’s James “Kid Shamrock” Metcalf (25-2, 15 Kos) battled against the boa constrictor style of Dennis Hogan (31-5-1) and battled his way to the IBO super welterweight title by unanimous decision.
It wasn’t easy.
Metcalf powered through the constant clinching o Hogan, who gave Mexico’s undefeated Jaime Munguia fits with holding when they fought four years ago. But not this time.
Behind a constant pressure attack, Metcalf fought through the grappling of Hogan who was warned once and finally penalized the last round of the match. The Liverpool fighter powered away and was given the unanimous decision by scores 117-110 twice and 115-112 to become the new IBO super welterweight titlist.
Another female world title fight was canceled when challenger Cecilia Braekhus pulled out due to illness. The former welterweight champion from Norway was scheduled to fight England’s Terri Harper for the WBA super welterweight title.