NATASHA JONAS fought Taylor at the 2012 Olympics and in the pro ranks two years ago losing on both occasions despite her tremendous efforts. The Liverpudlian is the current unified female super-welterweight champion.
RICHARD FARNAN has worked the corner and healed the cuts of many female fighters over the years. The 50-year-old can name Claressa Shields, Mikaela Lauren and Hannah Rankin among those who put their trust in him.
BRIAN COHEN is the manager of Mary McGee who lost on points to Cameron with two belts on the line in October 2021.
MELISSA HERNANDEZ was in the opposite corner to Cameron five months prior, but the Puerto Rican was stopped in round five.
ALANNA NIHELL (formerly Murphy) who on October 31, 2001, faced Taylor in Ireland’s first officially sanctioned women’s bout. Alanna also won bronze in the lightweight event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
How do you beat Katie Taylor and Chantelle Cameron?
NJ: I think [Amanda] Serrano has proved, and myself to a certain extent, that you can drag Katie into fights. And if you can outwork her, you can make it uncomfortable for her. I think one of Chantelle’s biggest assets is her engine and how she recovers. As a pro I think she’s improved further. I think against [Jessica] McCaskill she showed she can box as well. She was moving her feet and keeping it long and was disciplined and smart. I think that’s a side we haven’t seen before without being disrespectful.
RF: Speed, movement, angles and not stay and trade. I think that’s how you beat Chantelle all day long. To beat Katie, you’ve got to draw her into a fight, you’ve got to put it on her, make her fight. Try and cut the ring off, make the ring as small as you can. Don’t allow her out and then properly put it on her and keep it on her because she’s never been comfortable when she’s backed up. You need the power to do that, and I think Chantelle does have the power. If it’s a larger ring we know the gameplan will be to box and move, land quick shots, and get out of there which will make life very difficult for Chantelle. But if we somehow, see a smaller ring in there where Katie will have to stand and fight, she won’t be able to get away. That will play into Chantelle’s hands all day long. It’ll be fascinating.
BC: I think the best way to go about beating a fighter like a Katie Taylor would be to mimic what Marcos Maidana did to Adrien Broner. If I had a fighter that was rough and rugged, I would say don’t give her space, don’t give her time to think. Cameron is a very tricky fighter. She does a lot of things good. Not great, but good. She’s a good, solid fighter. With Chantelle if my fighter could punch, I would tell her to lure her into a brawl because I don’t really think her chin has been tested too well. I know when she fought Mary McGee, she said it was the hardest she was ever hit. Katie is a much sharper puncher than Mary so it’s gonna be interesting. With Chantelle once she gets into a rhythm, she’s kinda hard to beat so I would offset her rhythm with counter punches, making her think, feints, a lot of things to make her not fight her fight.
MH: I think the way you beat Katie is to press forward, and you have to also be able to cut off the ring and throw combinations when she throws. It’s way easier said than done. You have to be a stellar athlete to do it. Katie’s a person that learns as the fight goes on so if you’re not getting rid of Katie or putting all the rounds in the bank, you’re not gonna beat her in the end. Chantelle, I do see her as more robotic. She’s a really big 140lb fighter and she has the drive to win. But I don’t see her as slick or have any defensive skills, but she can punch, and she believes in herself. And for me a lot of boxers go in there and they talk a lot but don’t believe in themselves, but Chantelle really does – hence why she is where she is now.
AN: I do believe for Katie it’s going to be one of the hardest fights of her career. Chantelle is very experienced and is up there with her and very strong. I believe Chantelle can match Katie but on that night it’s who wants it the most. This is the moment for Chantelle, this is the night for her to become the best fighter in the world. I think it’s going to be an explosive fight. It’s very evenly matched.
What makes them so hard to beat?
NJ: With Katie, I think it is the experience and the knowledge. For me, when I fought her, that was my second 10-round fight and I think that what got away from me was that in round nine, a very close round, the last 10 seconds she threw a 10-punch combination. It didn’t really land but it was enough in a close round to say yeah, she’s won it. I think that knowledge and her ring craft shows she knows she’s doing it and makes the judges remember. She has good starts to rounds and good endings. They’re the bits that you remember unless you have a big shot in the middle. I think that know how she’s got down to a tee.
RF: Chantelle’s fought good opponents that don’t understand how tough and how hard she hits. Sometimes I feel with Chantelle she switches off a little bit because that’s all she’s looking for, but she’s got there many times. Katie, I just think it’s her ring craft, her speed of hand and foot. She’s in and out, she’s like lightning. Her boxing ability and her boxing skills are second to none. You’ve got someone who works well off a jab but she’s so fast and balanced, and she does stick and listen to a game plan. Okay, she has been hurt in fights, but she’s proven that her chin isn’t bad at all. When she’s hurt, she still comes back at you so that gives her an edge when it comes down to these fights and why she’s been as good as she has been.
BC: Katie has that never say die attitude. If she’s still breathing, she’s still fighting. The way she recovered in that Serrano fight and basically took control was amazing. Chantelle is tougher than a one-dollar piece of mutton. She is tough as nails which is why this makes it such an interesting matchup.
MH: Katie is an all-round great fighter. She has all the fundamentals that you need and she’s able to adjust as a fight goes on. Chantelle, she’s learning how to adjust now. Again, she’s very strong and has a lot of will to win. The work ethic behind both of them is amazing. Do I think it’s going to be a war? Yeah, because Katie goes to war when she doesn’t need to. I think that’s the Irish in her. That’s why I’m so interested in the fight.
AN: It’s just having that more push than anyone else. They’ve had a lot to prove. They’ve both had different journeys in their boxing careers, they’ve had tough times in their careers and came out on top. I look at other female boxers and they’ve done great but these two have had that little bit more to prove to themselves. Coming up against girls like that how can you beat them.
What must they do to win?
NJ: Chantelle’s defence has to be good. She has to put it on her from start to finish. You’ve just got to go in with that mindset of nothing to lose. I know she wants to go in there and win and I know she wants to perform in front of Ireland which is a big ask because every time Katie lands on a glove the crowd’s going to go crazy. If you can say at the end of round 10, I absolutely gave it my everything in there and you’ve got nothing else to give you can live with that because you can only do your best.
RF: Katie’s got to stay away from Chantelle. She’s got to keep on the end of the jab. Keep everything nice and long. If she gets caught in a corner or on the ropes, she’s either got to get out of that or she’s got to tie herself to Chantelle. She cannot allow Chantelle to start teeing off and setting her feet. She needs to stick to a game plan, she needs to box and move, get off the three-four combinations, change the feet, use the angles, and get away. Chantelle’s got to do completely the opposite of that. I think Chantelle has to make it rough and bully Katie as best she can. She’s got to be able to pin Katie down, whether that’s against the ropes or in a corner. If she can make Katie stand and have a slugfest with her then Chantelle wins all day long. She’s in front of her fans, she’s going to be hyped up, she’s going to want to put on a performance. Chantelle could drag her into that type of dogfight. Katie might stand there and think I’m having it here with you now. This is my town; this is my ring. If she does that then she makes a massive mistake.
BC: What Katie would have to do is not have Chantelle gain any momentum. If she gets any confidence Chantelle is very dangerous. On the flip side Chantelle can’t get lured into looking at Katie and being amazed with her footwork. I don’t care how many people she’s sparred; I don’t care who she fought; nobody moves like Katie. Hopefully Chantelle’s trainers are working on shorter, more precise steps and not having her feet so wide. That’s what I would do if I was training Chantelle. She does have a bit of a slightly wide stance so it’s going to have to be a little bit shorter and much like a track star getting ready to go out the blocks. You have to shorten your stance, make sure she’s on her back toe so she’s able to move laterally and to shut that movement down.
AN: I do think they’ll try to wear Katie down. They’ll try and be relentless. Chantelle’s a strong girl and Katie’s coming up to her weight as well, but I don’t think that’s gonna be the difference. In the later rounds, it could be depending how the fight goes. The first five rounds I know Katie’s gonna start quick, that’s what she does. But they’re gonna have to try and break Katie down early to get that win. If Katie settles in quickly then Chantelle has no chance. If Katie gets into her rhythm and comfortable then it’s going to be very hard for Chantelle. So, Chantelle has got to get on her early to hurt her, slow her down, it’s the only way you’re going to beat Katie Taylor. If you don’t then you’re not beating her. We’ve seen her slow down and get hurt and she’s come out on top. The first [Delfine] Persoon fight was really close. It could have gone either way. In my eyes that’s what Chantelle Cameron needs to do. Be that relentless and strong, not let her breathe so she’s going to have to fight like she’s never fought before.
NJ: I’ve been mates with Chantelle, and I hope and want Chantelle to win.
RF: I would say Katie. I think she’s too intelligent to be brought into a dogfight. If the gameplan to box and move and dazzle Chantelle with speed of hand and feet she could win it quite easily. But we shall see. If that’s the game plan that’s what happens. But we won’t know until that bell goes and what they both come out with.
BC: The easiest thing to say would be Katie’s going to win a unanimous decision because they’re in Ireland. I don’t think there’s going to be a knockout. Katie’s not a huge puncher. Chantelle is a better puncher than Katie, I believe. With a 10-pound IBF rehydration clause my thinking would be how big is Chantelle going to get? It can also come down to a chess match, who’s outthinking who. I just think Katie in a majority decision.
MH: I’m gonna say Katie on points. I’m gonna say if Chantelle drops her twice, which I think can be done I’ll give the decision to Chantelle. Do I think there’s going to be a knockout? No. Katie’s too smart. Katie’s just that good, let’s really say that. So, if Chantelle shows up and beats Katie it makes Chantelle that good.
AN: I just can’t see Katie getting beat. She’s done so much in her career. She’s got nothing more to prove. This is what she’s done since she was a little girl. They fought in the amateurs which they say means nothing but the fact that it’s came back round to meet in a professional ring it’s quite special. If Chantelle doesn’t step on her early Katie’s definitely going to come out on top.