Katie Taylor Has Home Advantage, But Avenging A Defeat Is New Territory

Taylor will face Chantelle Cameron in a rematch in November
13:00, 03 Aug 2023

Katie Taylor will face undisputed light welterweight champion Chantelle Cameron at the 3Arena in Dublin on Saturday, November 25. The fight is a rematch from their first clash in May, when Cameron inflicted the first professional defeat of Taylor’s career to retain her titles. Now ‘The Bray Bomber’ must face a challenge she has never endured during her pioneering ring career. Taylor must try to rebound from a defeat.

It must be said, conditions have been set in her favour. The rematch taking place in Taylor’s home country of Ireland is a huge advantage and not entirely fair on Cameron. Despite being the champion, Chantelle was made to fight at the 3Arena in their first bout. The argument on that occasion was that Taylor is one of the greatest fighters ever and the clear A-side of the fight.

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This time, however, Cameron is the A-side, the reigning champion and leads their feud 1-0. The fact ‘Il Capo’ beat Katie in her own backyard last time should have afforded her a rematch in England. It is not as if Taylor is unfamiliar to audiences in this country, since 14 of her 23 fights have taken place on English soil and she is a proven ticket seller there. The choice to have the rematch in Ireland was not commercial, this fight would have sold out The O2 Arena in London or Manchester Arena, both of which are bigger than the 3Arena. Ireland was chosen to host the bout in order for Taylor to once again fight in front of 13,000 of her best friends.

That remarkable support was not enough to win Taylor the fight back in May. The vociferous reaction every time the local hero landed a punch may have swayed the judges into marking a too-generous majority decision. But the right winner was anointed, even if Cameron’s dominance was not correctly measured by the scorecards.

Katie will know that her fight with Cameron was not as close as the record books show. For the first time in her remarkable pro career, Taylor is preparing to overcome a fighter who comprehensively got the better of her. The 37-year-old has been in close fights before. Amanda Serrano ran her awfully close in 2022’s best fight. Delfine Persoon and Natasha Jonas have also given her plenty to think about in the past.

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On those occasions though, Taylor did enough to secure victory. This is different. Even in Ireland, ‘The Bray Bomber’ was correctly adjudged to be the loser. Over the course of 10 championship rounds, she took a lot of punishment from Cameron. Her strategy failed to take the play away from the 140lb champion. 

Taylor goes in again with Cameron needing to change her approach. Meanwhile, there are questions being asked of her that simply were not a factor previously. At the age of 37, is Taylor’s majestic prime behind her? ‘KT’ has endured a number of wars over the course of her staggering 17 world title fights. At what point does that immense physical outlay take a toll?

Tactically, Cameron may be wrong for Taylor. In terms of age and freshness, the Irish superstar may be on a hiding to nothing. But Katie Taylor has not become one of the defining athletes of the renaissance of women’s boxing by fleeing from adversity. It goes without saying that the very best possible version of Taylor will step through the Dublin ropes in November. What remains to be seen is if that will be enough to beat the superb Cameron.

This could feasibly be the last fight of Taylor’s career. Or it could be the start of a supreme second phase as she overcomes adversity and embarks on the final chapter of her Hall of Fame story. A win over Cameron opens up opportunities like a desired rematch with Serrano. That is a fight that would only further glorify Taylor’s remarkable legacy. But in order to reach it, she must do something she has never done before. Taylor must avenge a pro defeat.

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