Katie Taylor has nothing left to prove in boxing, retirement could be inevitable if she loses to Chantelle Cameron again
Chantelle Cameron stunned Katie Taylor in front of a Dublin crowd in May. She is out to prove it wasn't a fluke this weekend in their rematch.
In his latest column, the former Olympian and heavyweight contender looks ahead to the huge rematch in Dublin and gives his thoughts on Anthony Joshua’s decision to link up with a new trainer in Ben Davison
My fight prediction
Chantelle Cameron is one of those fighters who went under the radar for so long. If you look back on the wins she has had and the way she has performed, she is always in good fights and always operates on a very high level.
She has an outstanding skillset, is a very game fighter and she has a really great set up working with Nigel Travis and Jamie Moore, who have developed her as a pro.
I knew she would go out to Dublin in May and give a really good account of herself up against it, but I was surprised at how comfortably she managed to deal with Katie that night.
This fight at the same weight, it makes it interesting. I have to have Chantelle as the favourite. Performing like that in front of the home crowd on Irish soil, it will have given her invaluable experience and made her an even better a fighter.
She will have so much confidence going into this one. She’ll try to put Katie to bed. It’s close but I am giving it to Chantelle Cameron, edging another points win in a really close fight.
Cameron’s key to success
After Katie’s defeat earlier this year, there were a lot of theories and reasons put forward for why she wasn’t at her usual level. The jump up in weight, fighting the naturally bigger women, the fact she was another year older, the huge pressure that comes with fighting back home on the big stage.
But Chantelle was carrying something in her that made all that irrelevant. She hasn’t been given the rub of the green as a pro or given the attention she deserved and going further back, wrongly missed out on going to the Olympics in Rio.
I think she took all that frustration and pain into the fight, knowing if she beat Katie, all that changes. You make yourself a star. And that is what she did, she outpunched her, outworked her and outboxed her.
Chantelle knows exactly what she needs to do this time around. She will be so up for it. Katie will of course want her revenge, so many of us look up to her so I’m expecting nothing less than a really good contest.
Retirement an option for legendary Taylor
I love Katie’s style. Even after defeat, there is no trash talk, always respectful. It is about the job, the sport, not the business. She is a woman of the sport. The real champions, they come back and avenge defeats, they put things right and we have seen it time and time again at the top level. Katie belongs in that bracket of the all-time great champions.
It happens to every fighter, sometimes it doesn’t go to plan on the night and we will see this weekend if that was the case last time out, or if Chantelle truly does have her number.
There are no doubts over Katie Taylor’s legacy in boxing. She could retire today before the fight and would go away as a legend. But she has her pride and she wants the belts and I have so much respect for that. Whatever happens on Saturday, I think she could walk away because I am not sure what else she can do in this sport.
She has had the big fights, back home in Ireland and at Madison Square Garden in that unbelievable Amanda Serrano fight. She is a national treasure and a global icon. But it is down to her. There is no quit in her but I wouldn’t mind seeing her bow out in front of that Dublin crowd. Win lose or draw, she is a legend of the game.
No more games from ice cold AJ
We are seeing that meaner, no nonsense side of Anthony Joshua coming out and have done a lot more recently than previously in his career. The main focus for him and everyone involved is keep that energy going into the ring against Otto Wallin next month.
We need to see that attitude and intensity in the performances in the ring. That is what matters. But I can understand it fully. When a man like AJ wants something so bad like he wants those world titles back, there is no time to be playing games.
It is good to see and we hope to see it in the performances. We all want that. I’m a friend and a fan and I want to see him get the belts back and set up the Tyson Fury fight.
The Ben Davison link-up
There will be a new face in the corner for Joshua next month with Ben Davison taking the lead for this fight. Ben has been involved in some huge fights with Tyson Fury, Billy Joe Saunders, Josh Taylor and Leigh Wood so he’s no stranger to the big stages.
He has got great enthusiasm for the sport, I have been around him a little bit, he is a student of the game and knows what he is talking about.
We are at the stage in Joshua’s career where you need guidance more than anything. You’ve done all the training camps, you’ve got all the experience in the world and you need someone to bring out the best of you.
We are not talking about reinventing the wheel here, it is more about having the right person to guide him though fights and the camps. Ben Davison seems to be a good person doing that.
He can be quite basic in what he does, expecting certain things from certain fighters, but it works and the results are there to see with what he has accomplished as a trainer. If they do what he is telling them, they come up with good results. It looks a good fit.
With trainers, you can sometimes only go off the fighters they have around them and he has got good fighters there.
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