Katie Taylor can understand why people were taken aback to her stepping out of character in publicly calling for a showdown with any fighter.
What she can’t quite grasp, however, is why the public was surprised by her willingness to challenge undisputed 140-pound queen Chantelle Cameron.
“I don’t understand why people are saying I didn’t want this fight,” Taylor said during Monday’s press conference in Dublin to formally announce their historic bout.
The two are due to meet on May 20 at 3Arena in Dublin, marking the first-ever pro fight in Ireland for Taylor (22-0, 6KOs) who hails from nearby Bray. England’s Cameron (17-0, 8KOs) will put all of her 140-pound hardware on the line in the first-ever meeting between undefeated, undisputed champions.
The date was originally reserved for her highly anticipated rematch with undisputed featherweight champion Amanda Serrano (44-2-1, 30KOs) who was prepared to move back up in weight to challenge for Taylor’s fully unified lightweight crown. Those plans fell through when Serrano was issued strict medical orders to allow existing injuries to fully heal in lieu of heading straight back into another grueling training camp.
Taylor pushed Matchroom Boxing, her career-long promoter, to find another opponent for the date. For her level of popularity at home, the 36-year-old could have fought anyone she wanted for her long overdue homecoming.
Going a softer route would not have been fair to her adoring fans back home. Not that going any other path was ever an option.
“I wanted this fight for years,” insisted Taylor, who briefly held the WBO junior welterweight title in 2019 before resuming her undisputed lightweight championship reign. “We could have went the easier route and chosen an easier opponent. That’s not how I operate. We want the toughest challenges. We want the toughest fights. Now we’re here. This is my homecoming fight and I have the chance to make history and become a two-division undisputed champion. This will be the biggest night of my career.
“I think what has marked my career is that I’ve always wanted the hardest fights. My first defense was against McCaskill. My Madison Square Garden debut was against Persoon who dominated the lightweight division for years. There’s obviously Serrano who was a seven-weight world champion. Not to mention all the other tough fights I’ve had.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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