Chantelle Cameron fulfilled her dreams by becoming the undisputed super-lightweight champion of the world in November 2022. The Northampton-born boxer-puncher turned in a career-best performance to outbox Jessica McCaskill over ten hard-fought rounds in Abu Dhabi.
When a fighter reaches undisputed status, they become the hunted. All roads to a world title go through them, so it stands to reason that potential opponents pop up from all over the world. There’re countless phone calls coming in. You’ll have challengers calling you out left, right, and centre during post-fight interviews.
However, astonishingly, that’s not been the case for Cameron, who is scheduled to fight on Anthony Joshua’s undercard in London on April 1.
“Yeah, it’s crazy, I’ve offered it to a handful of people, but I’ve got no opponent,” Cameron told The Sporting News. “It’ll be eight weeks on Saturday until I fight. I thought when you win undisputed, you’d have everyone knocking on your door, but that’s not happened. They’re actually struggling to get me matched.
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“There are girls who would fight me at 140, but they need to deserve the shot as well. I want to fight a good name and a worthy opponent so it gives me that fire in my stomach. You’ve seen me against McCaskill – as soon as I have an opponent like that, then my level goes up. I want high-profile fights. I want to make my own history and my own path.”
After Cameron’s undisputed triumph, there were expectations that a McCaskill rematch would take place at welterweight. McCaskill held all the belts at 147 pounds, so Cameron would have a chance of becoming double-undisputed in two fights.
However, that plan took a hit when the IBF stripped McCaskill of the title at the end of last month. The New Jersey-based organisation claimed that a titleholder may move up and retain their position as defending champion, but they can’t move down.
With one of her titles gone, Cameron believes McCaskill is not in a hurry to lose any more.
“Why would she want to fight me at her weight class? She’ll lose all of her belts,” said the champion with a smile. “She had the safety net [in the first fight]: box me at 140 and put nothing on the line. She had everything to gain and nothing to lose.
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“Let’s go again in your weight division. Fair’s fair, and I’ll take those belts as well. I’ll become two-time undisputed. But they’re putting their foot down and pretending that I don’t exist anymore. But I’m going to make it clear that I’m here. I’m going to take those belts. I’m not going to stop pushing it.”
With the McCaskill rematch looking doubtful in the immediate future, there was the opportunity to play matchmaker. Mikaela Mayer, the former unified champion at 130 pounds, has stated more than once that she’s willing to weight hop. Despite coming off a split decision loss to Alycia Baumgardner in October, the 32-year-old American remains a big star in the sport.
“Mikaela Mayer is a great fighter,” Cameron said with respect. “I watch her and she’s so classy. She’s got it all, she ticks all the boxes. That’s a fight I would love. She’s got a big name, she’s a former unified champion, and that fight with Alycia Baumgardner, I thought Mikaela Mayer won.
“That would be one hell of a fight. When we say she’s coming off a loss, that doesn’t really bother me because I thought she won. She’s moving up weights to get another world title belt, but 100%, I think me and Mikaela make a great fight. It’s a good matchup and it’s two styles that will gel well together.”
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Speaking of Baumgardner, “The Bomb” beat Elhem Mekhaled inside Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater this past Saturday (February 4) to become undisputed super-featherweight champion. Following the bout, the hard-hitting Baumgardner named several fighters she would like to face. Cameron was on that list, and Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn also showed interest in that potential matchup.
Whether it’s McCaskill, Mayer, Baumgardner, or another world-class operator, Cameron has itchy hands and wants a fight.