Does this make you the pound for pound best number one boxer in the world? Chantelle Cameron was asked after she had become the first person to defeat Katie Taylor since she turned professional in 2016.
“I don’t know,” said Cameron.
“She’s too modest,” interjected her coach Jamie Moore before Eddie Hearn, who promotes both Taylor and Cameron laid it on the line. “She’s just beaten the pound for pound number one,” said Hearn.
Taylor didn’t do post-fight media, so it was left to others to pick apart a night in which a planned homecoming came to an unscripted – and for a partisan crowd – a dismal end, when the three judges scored Cameron a 95-95, 96-94, 96-94 winner in Dublin’s 3Arena.
“Exactly,” added Moore logically. “If Katie Taylor was already ranked the number one pound for pound, which I believe she was, then if somebody has just beaten her then surely that makes her the best pound for pound.”
It’s a more complex arrangement as Taylor had moved up in weight to meet Cameron and has lost none of her lightweight belts. But defeat does colour the scene and pound for pound is a nuanced question. Cameron remains unbeaten in 18 fights with Taylor one defeat in 23 outings.
Just what is next for Taylor is what people wanted to know and a rematch, perhaps for Taylor’s lightweight belts, was not far from the thinking, although the provisions for that may swing towards Cameron if anything is agreed.
Cameron is 33-years-old in May and Taylor is 37-years-old in July.
“I think she [Cameron] deserves a home coming herself,” said Moore. “She’s been away from home to get world titles. She won the first one at MK Dons. Yeah, she’s done everything asked of her, I think. Some of the terms maybe deserve to be in Chantelle’s favour now.
In Dublin at least and around boxing in general, the interest was as much in the defeat of Taylor as the win for Cameron. Taylor has been such a fixture at the top of the sport, beating her has become like the slaying of an icon and the readjusting of the hierarchy.
“I was just on such a high, and it was, ‘how am I going to get this high again?’, said Cameron. “It’s just crazy how Katie called me out and now I’ve beaten her. I feel like I’ve achieved climbing one mountain, now I’ve just climbed another one.
“I always had huge respect for Katie. That was one of my fears going into the ring tonight and Jamie [coach] kept saying to me, like, ‘no respect, no respect’. Because for so many people it’s so easy to give Katie so much respect for what she’s done and I had to go in there and let it go out the window because you can’t help but respect her.
“What she has done for women’s boxing is unbelievable, so it is very hard not to show that respect. So tonight for me, it was about making sure it went out the window and that I won.”
What both have assured is their next meeting for Taylor’s lightweight belts, if it happens, will be bigger and if Taylor wins at the more comfortable weight, then a rivalry is established. Boxing works that way and so does Hearn. It is not maudlin but moves on.
“She is going to want a rematch because she’s going to want to put this night to bed and try to get the win over me,” said Cameron.” We’ll see what’s next. But now it’s on my terms.”