By Rachel Aylett 

This Saturday, 18th May, sees another welcome outing for 27-year-old Northampton lightweight Chantelle Cameron. Her tenth fight takes place on the undercard to the WBSS semi-finals show in Glasgow. The aggressive and hard-punching Cameron, 9-0 (6 kos) as a professional, made her return to the ring just three weeks ago, against Feriche Mashauri from Tanzania. She won via second round stoppage. Prior to that Cameron had experienced her lengthiest break from the ring of six months.

Chantelle’s absence was due to an acrimonious fall-out with previous management and promotional team Cyclone Promotions, run by former world champion Barry McGuigan. Chantelle made the split public knowledge in February and stated that the issues she had been facing included non-payment of purses, intimidation and humiliation at the hands of the company. The upset this has caused to her career was exacerbated by the fact that her trainer was Barry’s son, Shane. One can therefore imagine how isolated she felt during the months that the dispute was going on.

Things started looking up again for Chantelle in February when she began training in Manchester with highly regarded former British and European champion Jamie Moore and his assistant Nigel Travis. Moore won the trainer of the year award for 2018, given annually by the British Boxing Board of Control. Just subsequent to this, Chantelle also linked up with a new management team, MTK Global. This is a great move for her as MTK is one of the fastest growing management teams in the world. Its stable is being added to with hot prospects from all around the globe on a regular basis. With the right team around her now, Chantelle says that she is in a much better frame of mind.

Despite having had only nine fights, Cameron is already the no.3 lightweight in the world, behind only Irish rival Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon from Belgium. These two outstanding boxers are due to meet for all four world championship belts on the undercard to Anthony Joshua’s next title defence in Madison Square Garden on 1 June. Cameron has long spoken about her desire to challenge Taylor but the Irish champion’s team have suggested that the Brit needs to raise her profile somewhat before that can happen. The two did fight in 2011 in the amateur ranks with Taylor getting the decision on that occasion.

Perhaps with this in mind, Chantelle has suggested that she is willing to move up to super-lightweight to challenge one of the champions in that weight class before the end of the year. Although Chantelle currently holds the IBO belt at lightweight, this is not highly regarded and does not carry enough weight to interest Taylor. Should Chantelle win a major belt at super-lightweight though, it may just tempt Taylor into a challenge, in order to win a world title at a second weight. After all, should Taylor defeat Persoon she will have completely cleaned out the lightweight division.

Although MTK Global does not have a UK television deal, it recently signed an agreement with ESPN in the USA. The American television giant is to broadcast MTK’s shows from June onwards, mostly on its streaming platform ESPN+, so all of Chantelle’s fights will soon be available to see stateside. MTK’s shows are streamed live in the UK on the iFL TV Youtube channel. These broadcasts are of high quality, often featuring experienced commentary duo Alex Steedman and Barry Jones.

On Saturday’s card, Chantelle will have a second warm-up fight. She is already lined up to take on another African boxer, Anisha Basheel, at York Hall on 28th June. This fight will be a final eliminator for the WBC title at lightweight. Here Chantelle will fight on the undercard of a British title fight involving Ryan Walsh and Lewis Paulin. Notorious bad boy of boxing Ohara Davies is also set to feature, as MTK’s shows improve in quality all the time. Chantelle, along with Nicola Adams, is the best female fighter in the UK. It will be fun watching her continued progress on the road to an eventual match with Katie Taylor for all the “marbles”.

Photo Credit: MTK Global

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