Katie Taylor vows vengeance when Cameron arrives for Dublin rematch * Joe Ward tops the bill in Donegal

A crestfallen Katie Taylor reacts to her first loss as a professional as Chantelle Cameron celebrates
A crestfallen Katie Taylor reacts to her first loss as a professional as Chantelle Cameron celebrates

SAME opponent, same prize, same weight, same venue… The big difference - and the only one that really matters says the woman herself - will be Katie Taylor’s performance when she gets back in the ring against Chantelle Camerson at the 3Arena in Dublin on November 25.

That’s the way it has to be for Taylor to capture the five super-lightweight belts (IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC and WBO) on the line. First time out in May, Taylor fought hard over 10 rounds but she started slowly and, although she had her moments in the fight and many of the rounds were close, she lacked the dynamic movement and snap in her punches to turn the tide and Cameron deservedly took the win.

Taylor promises better second time around.

“The preparation has been different and I feel a lot better going into this fight,” she said, although she refused to elaborate on how or why.

“I feel in top form right now and I’m just looking forward to showing my best. I definitely wasn’t at my best in the last fight so I’m looking forward to putting things right. I feel this camp has been different and mentally and physically I feel a lot better and that’s obviously a big deal.”

Cameron upset Irish fans when she left Dublin Airport after her win by posing, arms out-stretched, in front of a picture of Taylor returning home from the Olympic Games with a gold medal. Taylor said she wasn’t aware of it and she’s far too respectful to get into a public slanging match about that but it is sure to add a little more spice to the build-up.

She wants to settle the score and, in boxing, from Ali-Frazier to Chris Eubank’s recent revenge mission against Liam Smith, that’s always a possibility.

“Every single fight is important for me,” said Taylor from her fight camp in Connecticut.

“The next fight is always the most important one and I’m just looking forward to stepping in there again and I’m very grateful that I have this opportunity, I actually have a second chance to go in there and make things right and I’m very excited about it.”

The only contest in Taylor’s mind after the loss in May was a rematch. She detects that “people are doubting me” and feels she has a score to settle. What she produces on November 25 will be absolutely everything she has left to give.

“Straight away we were looking for the rematch and it would have been a killer for me if I didn’t get this chance to fight her again,” she said.

“Hopefully things will go my way this time.

“I’m not thinking of any other outcome other than winning – no other outcome will enter into my mindset. I feel very fresh, very good in the gym so I know I have plenty more fights left in me.

“I will retire at the right time when I feel like it’s right. I feel good and I have no intention of hanging up the gloves right now.

“I can’t do this forever but retirement never came into my mindset after the last fight. I know I have to perform well on November 25, this is a must-win fight for me but it’s never good for any fighter to be thinking of retirement going into a fight.”

Joe Ward  faces Ghana’s Prince Oko Nartey in Letterkenny on Saturday night
Joe Ward faces Ghana’s Prince Oko Nartey in Letterkenny on Saturday night

JOE Ward wants to make the jump into title territory when he fights on Irish soil for the first time as a pro on Saturday night as the headline act on the Rumble In The Hills card at the Aura Leisure Complex in Letterkenny.

Moate light-heavyweight Ward (9-1) faces Ghana’s Prince Oko Nartey (11-1) and is aiming to get back to the heights he reached as an amateur when he won three European gold medals, two World silvers and a bronze.

“This is a stepping stone for me to get to the best light heavyweight in the world,” Ward said.

‘Prince of God’ Nartey Ghana arrives in Donegal from Ghana, where 11 of his wins have been inside the distance. Narty’s only loss came in a 2019 bout in Germany when the IBO World Youth title was on the line.

“I want to fight big domestic fights,” added Ward.

“I know what level I’m at. I need to build momentum now and put myself in a situation where these fights will happen.

“To headline my homecoming is very special. I’m looking forward to building momentum from here on in. I got an unfortunate injury but I’m back now and I’m ready for the big tests ahead.”

Ward has name-checked the likes of European light heavyweight champ Dan Azeez, IBO world light heavyweight title holder Lyndon Arthur and Joshua Buatsi as those in his sights after Saturday night.

"Belfast’s James McGivern (7-0, 2KOs) clashes with Josh Sandford (6-0) for BUI Celtic lightweight title on the Elite Sheer show.

McGivern said: “I feel like this is the start of it and there is a buzz now. It feels like we’re starting to build something now.

“This is a more aggressive version of me. People want to see big punches getting thrown. That’s what this game is all about. This could be the night that catapults me to the rest of my career.”

Also in action are Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Tyler Jolly (2-0), Galway heavyweight Jason Myers will make his pro debut and Navan super-feather Cain Lewis (3-0-1) aims to maintain his unbeaten record.

Donegal’s London-based super-middleweight Danny Boyle (2-0-1) gets a chance to showcase on a home show and the Walsh brothers, Liam and Paddy, will look to build their professional records.