Taylor-Cameron title bout set for May 20 in Dublin

Boxing

Katie Taylor’s homecoming fight in Ireland on May 20 has a new opponent — undisputed junior welterweight champion Chantelle Cameron.

Cameron, ESPN’s No. 7 pound-for-pound fighter, will now fight Taylor, the undisputed lightweight champion from Bray, Ireland, and ESPN’s No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter, at the 3Arena in Dublin, Matchroom Boxing announced on Saturday.

The fight is for Cameron’s undisputed junior welterweight titles, meaning Taylor will step up in weight.

Taylor had won the WBO junior welterweight title once before, in 2019, when she beat Christina Linardatou. Now she’s going up in weight again to fight Cameron after Amanda Serrano pulled out of the fight last month because of a hand injury.

Taylor and Cameron — who both are promoted by Matchroom Boxing — each posted about the possibility on Instagram last week, saying they wanted to fight and get a deal done. A little over a week later, it has been announced.

“Once Serrano pulled out this was the natural fight to make,” Taylor said. “It’s two undefeated, reigning undisputed world champions going up against each other and I believe that’s the first time that’s ever happened in the modern era of the sport.

“People have been talking about this fight for a long time now so I’m delighted it’s happening and I’m looking forward to becoming a two-weight undisputed champion in Dublin on May 20.”

“It feels surreal that the fight is actually happening,” Cameron said. “It feels like my whole professional career has been based around this fight and I never imagined it would actually happen for one reason or another.”

Taylor, 36, has never fought in Ireland as a professional after a standout amateur career including a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics. Taylor is one of Ireland’s biggest sports stars but now resides in Connecticut to do her training.

Taylor (22-0, 6 KO) last fought in October when she beat Karen Elizabeth Carabajal at Wembley Arena in the United Kingdom. She and Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn said then they wanted her next fight to be in Ireland.

“It’s time to return to Ireland now,” Hearn said after the Carabajal fight. “Whoever it is against, the next fight has to be Ireland.” That was expected to be Serrano — the Taylor-Serrano rematch was announced following Serrano’s Feb. 4 win over Erika Cruz in New York City — but then Serrano had to pull out. The hope was they would still be able to keep the date for Ireland for Taylor, and Cameron stepped in.

There had been hopes of holding the Taylor-Serrano fight at Croke Park in Dublin as well, but that plan fell through. When Taylor-Serrano was postponed, both Taylor’s and Serrano’s teams said they would discuss rescheduling the fight.

The 31-year-old Cameron (17-0, 8 KO) last fought in November, when she beat Jessica McCaskill in Abu Dhabi to become the undisputed junior welterweight champion. This will be Cameron’s first defense of her undisputed title.

“I’m no stranger to boxing away from home now, and to be going into Katie’s backyard for her homecoming is massive,” Cameron said. “I’m glad to be a part of history again like I was in Abu Dhabi. I know what I will be up against and that I am the underdog, but I relish that. The fight will be electric. We both are experienced, we are both game and we are both coming to win.

“To successfully defend my belts against Taylor will be the icing on the cake for me. To become undisputed and then defend them against the pound-for-pound best in women’s boxing will really mark my place in women’s boxing and create my own legacy.”

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