Taylor to challenge Cameron for undisputed women's 140 title
With Serrano out of rematch due to injury, Irish hero will move up in weight for opportunity to win all four belts in a second division
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Katie Taylor has a new fight instead of the one that she planned for but she also has the chance to add a big achievement to her already Hall of Fame-level resume.
Taylor, the undisputed women’s lightweight champion, will move up in weight to challenge undisputed junior welterweight champion Chantelle Cameron in the main event on May 20 (DAZN) at 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, Matchroom Boxing announced on Saturday.
The fight will mark a long-awaited homecoming fight for Taylor, who became an Irish national hero when she won a 2012 Olympic gold medal.
Taylor (22-0, 6 KOs), 36, was initially scheduled for a rematch on the same date in Dublin against undisputed featherweight champion Amanda Serrano, but the fight was postponed two weeks ago because Serrano was dealing with an undisclosed injury. Last April, Taylor won a disputed split decision over Serrano to retain her belts in perhaps the greatest women’s fight of all time at sold-out Madison Square Garden in New York, Serrano’s hometown.
When Serrano was forced out of the rematch, Taylor posted to her social media calling out Cameron and imploring her promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, to save the date.
Cameron responded by embracing the fight and about 10 days later it was announced.
“Once Serrano pulled out this was the natural fight to make,” Taylor said. “It’s two undefeated, reigning undisputed world champions going up against each other and I believe that’s the first time that's ever happened in the modern era of the sport.
“People have been talking about this fight for a long time now so I'm delighted it’s happening and I’m looking forward to becoming a two-weight undisputed champion in Dublin on May 20.”
If Taylor wins she would become the second female boxer to become an undisputed champion in two weight classes. Claressa Shields is the only one who has done it, winning all four major belts at junior middleweight and doing it twice at middleweight.
If Taylor defeats Cameron (17-0, 8 KOs), 31, of England, it would also be the second time she will have won a world title at 140 pounds. She made a one-fight step up to the division in 2019 and outpointed Christina Linardatou to take her WBO title before vacating and returning to lightweight.
Cameron, who held the WBC and IBF titles at 140 pounds, outpointed Jessica McCaskill in November in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to retain her two belts and win the vacant WBO and WBA titles to become the undisputed champion.
“It feels surreal that the fight is actually happening,” Cameron said. “It feels like my whole professional career has been based around this fight and I never imagined it would actually happen for one reason or another.
“I’m no stranger to boxing away from home now and to be going into Katie’s backyard for her homecoming is massive. I’m glad to be a part of history again like I was in Abu Dhabi. I know what I will be up against and that I am the underdog but I relish that. The fight will be electric. We both are experienced, we are both game and we are both are coming to win.
“To successfully defend my belts against Taylor will be the icing on the cake for me. To become undisputed and then defend them against the pound-for-pound best in women’s boxing will really mark my place in women’s boxing and create my own legacy.”
While Taylor-Serrano II was a heavily anticipated fight — and one that could still happen in the future — Hearn said he was excited to make Taylor-Cameron.
“I can’t wait to be a part of the historic moment when Katie Taylor makes her homecoming in Ireland to attempt to make history and become a two-weight undisputed Champion,” Hearn said. “For the first time in her career Katie Taylor called an opponent out because that’s how important this moment is for her. She called out in my opinion the most dangerous test in boxing for her at this time. This fight has been talked about for many years and we always said that when the timing was right Katie would have no problem accepting the challenge.
“For Chantelle, she has done everything that has been asked of her — became world champion, unified the division and became undisputed at the end of last year. She is a formidable fighter who has always believed she can beat Katie Taylor. On May 20 you will see one of the greatest nights in Irish sporting history.”
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TBH I think this is a tougher fight for Katie than the Serrano fight. Cameron is the naturally bigger lady and has plenty of skill and determination - as Jessica McCaskill found out.
Certainly not an easy fight for either fighter.
This is going to be a great fight