After winning the first 22 fights of her career and stamping her name as one of the greatest female boxers in history, undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor finally suffered her first professional defeat when she jumped to super lightweight to try and take on undisputed champ Chantelle Cameron. On Saturday, Taylor gets a chance for revenge when the two rematch with Cameron's undisputed champ status on the line again.
Shockingly, the first Cameron fight was Taylor's first in her home country of Ireland and the Dublin crowd was out in force. Unfortunately, Taylor couldn't out-technique or out-work Cameron, who fought like the bigger, younger fighter throughout 10 rounds of close action.
In the end, Cameron was able to edge out the fight by majority decision on scores of 94-96, 94-96 and 95-95.
"I think I definitely have to make a statement this time," Taylor said this week after her media workout. "The homecoming obviously didn't go my way. This is a must-win fight for me. It's all business this week for me, certainly very different than when we fought last time. I'm just excited to step in there."
Talk of a rematch began nearly immediately, with Cameron angling for the fight to take place at lightweight so she could attempt the same thing Taylor was aiming for: to become a simultaneous two-division undisputed champion. Instead, the rematch will go down at super lightweight as Taylor again tries to add four new belts to her impressive collection.
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Dublin will again host the two women, giving Taylor a home-field advantage, even if that wasn't enough to swing the fight in her favor the first time around.
Another focus heading into the fight is Taylor's future. At 37 years old, her career is on its last legs. A second straight loss could be enough to send Taylor into retirement. Similarly, achieving undisputed status across two weight classes could be the ideal high on which an all-time great could comfortably walk away from the sport.
The undercard features many prominent stars from Ireland, including Paddy Donovan who is set to take on Danny Ball in a welterweight contest. Donovan, 24, boasts an 11-0 mark with eight knockouts. Ball presents the toughest test of his young career at 13-1-1 with six KOs. Plus, rising women's featherweight prospect Skye Nicholson is back in a battle with Lucy Wildheart for the interim WBC crown. Nicholson, 28, is undefeated at 8-0.
Let's take a look at the rest of the fight card with the latest odds before getting to a prediction and pick on the main event.
Cameron vs. Taylor 2 fight card, odds
Chantelle Cameron (c) -195
Katie Taylor +162
Undisputed super lightweight title
WBC interim featherweight title
- Date: Nov. 25
- Location: 3Arena -- Dublin
- Start time: 2 p.m. ET
- How to watch: DAZN
Taylor has had to dig deep and find a hard win several times in her career and tried her best to do the same in the first Cameron fight. In that fight, Taylor was still standing toe-to-toe throwing power shots in the final round but she'd simply been outworked by a bigger, younger fighter with legitimate skills.
The common thinking heading into the rematch is that we saw everything we needed to see in the first fight and that Cameron is just slightly better. She survived the threat of home cooking on the scorecards the first time around but in another close fight, she may not be so lucky, and it's hard to think that a fighter of Taylor's skills can't keep the fight close.
Cameron should win the fight but I'm leaning toward Taylor winning close on the scorecards amidst a bit of controversy. Pick: Katie Taylor via SD