Katie Taylor has suffered her first career defeat against Chantelle Cameron on a 95-95, 96-94, 96-94 majority scorecard decision in front of a sell-out 3Arena.
The unbeaten English woman defended her IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO women’s super-lightweight titles. Taylor remains lightweight champion.
The two opening rounds settled into a familiar pattern. Cameron came out on the front foot and claimed centre ring. They both found joy with overhand rights in the second, yet Taylor took some points with a flurry on the bell.
Cameron picked off nice shots in the third as the aggressive advance continued. Towards the latter period of that round the instruction came from her corner to go low and work the body.
Taylor’s spinout hooks and sweet head movement just kept the brawler at bay although by the time she returned to her stool her hair braids had almost completely unravelled. The English woman could rightly claim three of the opening four rounds.
Cameron’s beat down with the body shots started to take its toll on Taylor, and the English fighter seemed undeterred from Taylor’s shots.
An uppercut from Cameron put her in the driving seat of the eighth before Taylor came back with a rally of shots towards the end of the round as both fighters started to dig deep for victory.
A blockbuster 10th round commenced as the pair traded large hooks, Cameron connecting with yet another uppercut before a desperate Taylor responded with more combinations but after the bell rung, it was Cameron who had her hand raised, with the judges scoring 95-95 draw, and 96-94, 96-94 in her favour.
Cameron told DAZN: “I was petrified. I’ve seen results go the other way in the past. It was a close fight and Katie is a great boxer, pound-for-pound the best.
“Unbelievable atmosphere. It’s a shame they weren’t backing me but Katie has a great following. I put my belts up against the pound-for-pound best so I’ve clearly got some guts.”
Following the result, Taylor already had her eyes set on a rematch.
She told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I was expecting a gruelling fight and that’s what it was. I obviously came up short. I always love a challenge and I’m looking forward to the rematch.
“This isn’t how I wanted the homecoming to go, but I’m grateful that this event could sell out in a couple of minutes.”