Katie Taylor has not given up on her long overdue homecoming headliner.
The undisputed lightweight queen has pushed her team to come up with a contingency plan in the wake of a now-postponed rematch with Amanda Serrano. There remains a hold on May 20 at 3Arena in Dublin, where Taylor was prepared to defend her lightweight championship.
The fighting pride of Bray, Ireland is prepared to keep the date for what would mark her first-ever pro fight in her home country. It would mean a move up in weight, to challenge unbeaten and undisputed junior welterweight champion Chantelle Cameron in a blockbuster pound-for-pound showdown.
“Let’s go, Chantelle Cameron,” Taylor declared on Thursday in a statement posted on her verified social media account. “Happy to move up in weight for the opportunity to become two-weight undisputed champion.”
Taylor (22-0, 6KOs) was previously due to face Brooklyn’s Serrano (44-2-1, 30KOs) in a rematch to their 2022 Fight of the Year, which Taylor won by split decision last April 30 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The second act was announced immediately after Serrano’s historic win over Mexico City’s Erika Cruz to fully unify the featherweight division, with the Brooklyn-bred Boricua joined by Taylor in the ring to immediately promote their planned fight.
Serrano was forced to withdraw due to a pre-existing injury that has yet to fully heal. There have been talks of postponing Taylor-Serrano II until later this year, though Taylor is eager to return to the ring in lieu of going that long between fights. The Irish superstar registered her fourteenth overall title defense in a ten-round poins win over Argentina’s Karen Elizabeth Carabajal last October 29 at OVO Arena Wembley, in London.
The same venue hosted Taylor’s November 2016 pro debut. Fifteen of her 22 pro bouts have taken place in the UK, and the other seven in the U.S. She has yet to fight in Ireland despite serving as the nation’s most celebrated athlete, her popularity absurdly high dating back to her celebrated amateur career. Taylor was the driving force behind women’s boxing being included in the Olympics, having struck Gold in 2012 London and also represented Ireland in 2016 Rio before turning pro later that year.
Taylor’s pro career has been just as storied. The 36-year-old superstar is a combined 16-0 spanning two weight divisions, including a pit stop at junior welterweight when she won the WBO title in a November 2019 points win over Christina Linardatou. The win came five months after Taylor fully unified the lightweight division, having since made seven defenses of the undisputed crown.
Cameron (17-0, 8KOs) rapidly rose to champion and pound-for-pound status through less than six years as a pro.
The 31-year-old from Northampton, England—aptly nicknamed ‘Il Capo’—claimed her first major title in a ten-round shutout win over Adrian dos Santos Araujo in their October 2020 vacant WBC junior welterweight title fight.
Four successful defenses have followed for Cameron, who is also promoted by Matchroom Boxing.
The run includes a ten-round nod over IBF titlist Mary McGee in their October 2021 unification bout. The final step toward undisputed status came in a competitive but clear decision win over undisputed welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill, who dropped down in weight for their championship last November 5 in Abu Dhabi.
Cameron does not presently have a fight scheduled. She was previously ordered to make a mandatory title defense versus Linardatou, who abandoned talks to instead face former unified 130-pound champ Mikaela Mayer in a lightweight non-title fight on April 15 at Copper Box Arena. The development left Cameron with a voluntary defense and with a burning desire to fill the void left behind by Serrano.
“I’m more than happy to accept,” noted Cameron. “Like you, I only want to fight the best. I'm not difficult to deal with so this fight can be signed, sealed and delivered in 24hours. DAZN, Matchroom Boxing, [head trainer] Jamie Moore, (Matchroom VP) Frank Smith, Eddie Hearn—let’s go.”
It is probably the one area where Cameron and Taylor agree.
“Let’s get it done, Eddie Hearn,” Taylor challenged her career-long promoter. “This homecoming has waited long enough.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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