What does Katie do next? Chantelle Cameron spoils Taylor Dublin homecoming

Chantelle Cameron celebrates after beating Katie Taylor at the 3Arena on Saturday night
Chantelle Cameron celebrates after beating Katie Taylor at the 3Arena on Saturday night Chantelle Cameron celebrates after beating Katie Taylor at the 3Arena on Saturday night

IBF, WBO, WBC, IBO & WBO World light-welterweight title: Katie Taylor lost to Chantelle Cameron Pts

IT wasn’t supposed to end like this and while, looking through green-tinted glasses, you might have seen evidence for giving Katie Taylor the decision on Saturday night, in the cold light of day there’s no doubt that the best woman won at the 3Arena.

Chantelle Cameron was the dominant force throughout a contest that increased in intensity over 10 rounds. Bigger and stronger, her workrate was ferocious and she was in Taylor’s face with stinging variations from the first bell.

Although she dug in and countered with left hooks and fast-handed combinations, Ireland’s favourite couldn’t keep her at bay and was beaten for the first time. Bitterly disappointed, she declined to appear at the post-fight press conference but said she does want to dance with Cameron again.

“It was a very, very close fight,” she said.

“It’s not how I wanted my homecoming to go but I’m just so grateful for this support. Congratulations to Chantelle on a fantastic performance and thanks so much for giving me this opportunity to fight for your belts. I’m looking forward to the rematch.

“It was a tough battle, a gruelling 10 rounds like I expected it to be. I came up short tonight but I look forward to the next time we face each other.”

Cameron said she was worried she’d been “jobbed” when it was announced that one of the judges had scored the fight a 95-95 a draw but the other two scored it 96-94 (six rounds to four) in her favour meaning Northampton’s ‘El Capo’ kept her belts. There was a rematch clause in the contract but Taylor may have to trigger it on the Englishwoman’s terms.

“Katie definitely had the speed but I was the bigger girl and I was using my strength,” said Cameron who agreed it had been one of the toughest fights of a career that now stands at 18-0.

“Katie is a great fighter, a great ambassador for the sport and I always knew it was going to be a tough night. I’ve come to Dublin for her homecoming, everything was against me, everything was in favour of Katie but I showed what I’m about.”

Despite being the defending champion, Cameron broke with boxing protocol and made her way to the ring first. Totally focussed, she dealt brilliantly with the hostile reception she received from the Dublin crowd.

She was made to wait – and then wait some more - while Taylor soaked up the applause of the packed house and the atmosphere reached fever pitch as she made her way to the ring. However, the drawn-out Taylor entrance seemed to work against the Bray woman because it was Cameron who came bursting out of the traps and there was venom on her accurate shots from the start.

“I was buzzing off it (the crowd),” said Cameron.

“If you saw me this week I was cool, calm and collected. That’s the way I am. I’ve got my team around me and that’s all I need. All it was, was noise and that’s what I kept thinking: ‘It’s just noise’. As soon as the bell goes I did what I do every day in the gym.”

What won it for her? She said it was her workrate. Brilliantly fit, she started with purpose and was able to sustain her assault and add new weapons – left and right hooks to the body and stinging uppercuts – as the fight wore on. Taylor threw everything at her in the final three rounds but didn’t do enough to turn the tide.

“I’m always fit,” said Cameron.

“I’m tough and I knew I had to work on the inside and do what I do every day in the gym. My team see it every day and they had faith in me. I heard rumours that Katie didn’t like bodyshots so I practised them.

“I’ve always had huge respect for Katie and that was one of my fears for tonight. Jamie kept saying to me: ‘No respect, no respect…’ To make sure I didn’t give her too much respect. I had to go in there and let all that go out the window because you can’t help but respect her because she’s a nice woman, a great athlete and what she’s done for women’s boxing unbelievable.”

So much was stacked against Cameron but she handled it brilliantly and she gave Taylor – who may have been saving some energy for the later rounds - no rest as she pressed forward to take an early lead in the fight. Although the home favourite fought back furiously, Cameron varied her punch output from head to body and dictated the pace.

“It feels ace,” said Cameron’s coach Jamie Moore who predicted this result from the moment the fight was made.

“I’m just glad that, in a tough, competitive fight, the right winner came out and the sport isn’t tainted in a bad light again which it has been in the past. I’m glad the right person won and I’m over the moon for Chantelle.

“Styles are everything and five years ago when she first came to my gym I said: ‘You’ve got the style that’s needed to beat Katie Taylor and if you keep working hard, one day you’ll beat her’. That day has come around.”  

Cameron has beaten Jessica McCaskill, who moved down from welterweight to fight her, and now Taylor, who moved up from lightweight, and now her camp are determined that, whatever happens next, she will call the shots.

“I think she deserves a homecoming herself to be fair,” said Jamie Moore.

“She has travelled, she’s been away from home to win her world titles. She’s done everything asked of her and some of the terms deserve to be in Chantelle’s favour now.”

Taylor was viewed as the pound-for-pound best in women’s boxing and Cameron modestly refused to take that mantle but it’s hers – for now.

Will there be a rematch? Perhaps for Taylor’s belts at lightweight? Promoter Eddie Hearn predicts that we will see Taylor and Cameron fight again.

“The biggest fight in women’s boxing right now is Chantelle Cameron against Katie Taylor 2,” he said.

“We’ll find a way but at the moment Chantelle deserves her break and her respect. This was a tremendous fight and Chantelle mentioned something interesting about maybe fighting for Katie’s lightweight belts.

“I don’t know what they are going to want to do, it would be a massive fight but tonight belongs to Chantelle Cameron.”

She came, she saw and she conquered to ruin Katie Taylor’s homecoming party.

Lightweight: Gary Cully lost to Jose Felix TKO3

ANOTHER reminder never to write off a Mexican as Latino veteran Felix stunned the Dublin crowd by stopping home favourite Cully in the third round.

Felix dropped the Kildare native twice in the third but referee Emil Tiedt allowed the contest to continue (for too long) until the towel came in from Pete Taylor in Cully’s corner. It was over at 2.34 in the third.

Tall southpaw Cully scouted Felix out over the first round and the Mexican stayed out of harm’s way until Cully landed a left hand late in the opener.

A sharp counter left hand from Felix shook him early in the second, Cully wasn’t hurt but it gave him something to think about.

It turned out to be an early warning. A screaming right hook sent Cully to the canvas and he never recovered. He hung on desperately but Felix hunted him down and forced another count. Cully tried to counterattack but a stunning left hook from Felix sent him staggering back into the ropes. Referee Tiedt let the action continue as Felix threw hell for leather before Cully’s corner came to the rescue.

Denis Hogan lost his IBO title to Liverpool’s James Metcalf
Denis Hogan lost his IBO title to Liverpool’s James Metcalf Denis Hogan lost his IBO title to Liverpool’s James Metcalf

IBO World Super-welterweight title: Dennis Hogan lost to James Metcalf Pts

HOGAN lost his IBO title to Liverpool’s Metcalf who was busier and more accurate over their 12 rounds.

‘Hurricane’ is a battler and he did what he could to turn the fight his way over the home stretch but two points deducted for using his head meant all three judges went for his opponent.

Hogan started slowly and Scouser Metcalf capitalised, sending a straight right hand through his guard and narrowly missing with a looping left hand just seconds later.

In the third, Metcalf slipped Hogan’s jab and a right hand drove the Irishman into the ropes. Metcalf – a stablemate of Caomhin Agyarko’s at the Rotunda gym - followed it up with a left hook that caught Hogan flush on the chin. He took it well but then walked onto a right hand from his opponent who was growing in confidence.

Hogan had some successes but he was deducted a point for illegal use of the head in the sixth and Metcalf continued to have the better of the exchanges. A chopping one-two left the Irishman cut over his right eye after the seventh.

He improved over the next two rounds and his counters off the back foot meant that, although Metcalf landed eye-catching shots, he was dragging himself back into the fight.

Metcalf stopped the comeback in the 11th and another point taken off Hogan in the 12th meant the Liverpool native took the IBO belt back to Merseyside.

Middleweight: Caoimhin Agyarko beat Grant Dennis Pts

A SHUT-OUT points win over 10 rounds represented a good night’s work for Agyarko on his return to action with a new training team in his corner.

The Liverpool-based Belfast fighter sprinted to the ring, dipped through the ropes and skipped impatiently in his corner until the first bell rang.

He was given a rousing reception from the Dublin crowd and Agyarko made the running from the start. With Dennis staying behind a high guard, he targeted the body with a couple of right hooks and landed a clean counter before the end of the round.

Agyarko had to force the pace and he took a few counters from Dennis but he stayed on him, flicking out the jab and varying his work to the body and head. Dennis was tiring as he returned to his corner after the fifth and Agyarko dominated the rest of the fight.

Referee David Irving was looking on closely when he had Dennis in trouble in the next and let loose with both hands. The English veteran proved tough to shift but Agyarko finished well and moved to 13-0.

Boxing Union of Ireland Celtic Heavyweight title: Thomas Carty bt Jay McFarlane TKO3

DUBLINER Carty borrowed Michael Conlan’s ‘Grace’ as his entrance theme. His beefy Scottish opponent McFarlane had talked a good game before the fight and Carty missed with an early dynamite-loaded left hand but he connected with the next one and there was little coming back from the Scot.

Early in the second, southpaw Carty measured McFarlane up with a couple of jabs and then dropped him with another ramrod left hand.  

Referee Paul McCullagh issued a warning for holding early in the third. It continued to be very scrappy until Carty landed another right-left and dropped McFarlane again late in the round. The Scot bravely got back up but after a follow-up left hook sent him back to the canvas and Belfast official McCullagh waved it off. McFarlane was limited and out of shape but Carty showed fast hands, timing and power to win the first title of his career.

“I don’t think I’ve shown how good I actually am yet,” said the former Dublin footballer.

Paddy Donovan won by TKO on the undercard of Taylor-Cameron
Paddy Donovan won by TKO on the undercard of Taylor-Cameron Paddy Donovan won by TKO on the undercard of Taylor-Cameron

Welterweight: Paddy Donovan bt Sam O'Maison TKO6

LIMERICK welter Donovan had too much for O’Maison who was tough but couldn’t keep Andy Lee’s prospect off him. Donovan sent the Englishman crashing to the canvas in the sixth before the referee stepped in to wave it off with 22 seconds left in the round.

“He can really fight,” said Eddie Hearn afterwards.

“He’s a young talent who can really challenge on the world stage.”

Flyweight: Maisey Rose Courtney bt Kate Radomska Pts

COURTNEY began the night with a points win in a competitive match-up with Radomska. There was never much between them but Courtney got the decision 58-57 to move to 33-0.