Katie Taylor’s first professional fight in her home country of Ireland did not go her way on Saturday. The undisputed lightweight champion lost a majority decision to undisputed super lightweight champion Chantelle Cameron in Dublin.
Taylor was originally planned to face Amanda Serrano in a rematch of their incredible April 2022 bout, but the fight fell through due to injuries Serrano sustained in her most recent fight. Taylor instead set her sights on moving up in weight in an effort to become a simultaneous two-division undisputed champion. Instead, she ran up against a bigger, more aggressive opponent who was able to edge enough rounds to win two of the three official scorecards in a fantastic action fight.
Cameron pressured early, looking to replicate the success Delfine Persoon and Serrano both had against Taylor. That worked well for Cameron in the opening round as she closed out the frame with some big right hands that were opened up by the pressure.
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Taylor, as always, was willing to meet a steady offensive barrage with shots of her own, though she frequently allowed herself to be pushed backward. When Taylor had her best moments of the first half of the fight, it came off the strength of her jab and body shots, though Cameron was landing plenty of strong hooks to Taylor’s body as well.
Cameron’s constant pressure appeared to be winning her most of the rounds, but Taylor would find spaces in each round to stand her ground and let flurries of punches go, each time bringing a roar from the crowd that had the potential to affect the ringside judges.
Cameron did show some swelling around her right eye beginning in the eighth round. That swelling was a result of Taylor more frequently landing left hooks in the second half of the fight.
The two women put together a furious final round, standing toe-to-toe and throwing big exchanges of power shots, once again bringing the Irish crowd to their feet as Taylor continued her attempt to take some much-needed late rounds.
The late effort from Taylor was not enough, however, with one judge turning in a 95-95 scorecard and the other two seeing the fight 96-94, 96-94 for Cameron.
“I was petrified,” Cameron said of hearing the 95-95 scorecard. “I’ve seen it before in boxing. It’s happened to my team before. I was petrified I was not going to get this decision. It was a close fight. It was going to be a close fight. Katie is a great fighter, the pound-for-pound best women’s fighter there is and I turned up for the occasion.”
Taylor took losing her homecoming — and suffering her first loss as a professional — in stride, not claiming to have won the fight but immediately making it clear there would be a rematch.
“I’m not sure [who won], to be honest,” Taylor said. “I’ll have to have a look at it. It was a very, very close fight. It wasn’t how I wanted my homecoming to go but I’m so thankful for the support. Congratulations to Chantelle. Thank you for this opportunity to fight for your belts and I’m looking forward to the rematch.”
After the two women were interviewed, promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed there was a rematch clause in the contract and the two women would run it back in Dublin later in the year.