BOXING: Cameron says she has learned from Olympic disappointment

Chantelle Cameron
Chantelle Cameron

Chantelle Cameron says her Olympic disappointment has taught her that there is more to life than boxing.

And the Great Britain star, who narowly missed out on the summer’s Olympic Games in Rio after suffering agonising defeats in qualifying, is now ready to show how far she has come.

Cameron was forced to rebuild after seeing her Rio dreams ended with a split decision defeat to Finland’s Mira Potkonen in the World Championships preliminaries in Kazhakstan in May.

She took some time out before returning to train at Far Cotton, where she has been getting back to fitness.

And Cameron is now setting her sights on a return to the ring as she prepares to represent Far Cotton and GB in the Queens Cup in Germany, which begins on October 26.

“It’s mixed emotions right now about getting back in the ring if I am honest,” Cameron said.

“I love fighting I love boxing but international boxing is a lot different to domestic boxing.

“The Olympics has gone and it’s always going to be a massive disappointment to me but after not qualifying there is nothing now in my boxing career that can disappoint me.

“My dream ended and I was so close.

“I can always say I had the chance to enter a qualifying event and I have beaten every single girl who got a medal in my weight category more than once. So I know I was more than good enough to be in those Games.”

And the 25-year-old added: “The Olympic disappointment has taught me a lot about myself.

“I’m not just a boxer.

“For eight years I have been on the GB squad and I have thought all I can do in my life is box. Boxing was my life.

“After not qualifying I now have two jobs doing something I love. I’m teaching boxing at Nationwide and working in a youth club.

“I never would have done this if I had qualified.

“It made me realise there is more to life than boxing.

“Boxing now is just my enjoyment. It isn’t my career any more.”

Cameron’s return to Far Cotton - she was training at Kettering ABC prior to the Olympic qualifiers - has clearly given her a boost, with working alongside the club’s head coach, John Daly, bringing the best out of her.

She said: “Being back at Far Cotton is most probably the only reason I am back at Sheffield (training with the Great Britain squad) and back boxing.

“Being around the Fail brothers (Ben, Carl and Aaron) and being in such a good gym atmosphere and having John talk to me has made me realise boxing can be fun and I can enjoy it again with the right people around me.

“I don’t have to take it so serious and I don’t have to let a sport break my heart.

“Right now I just love training.

“I am so happy when I come out of the gym.

“I work hard and we all work hard down at Far Cotton.

“I’m positive about boxing again but I don’t actually know yet how I will get on until the first bell goes in my next tournament.”

So what will Cameron’s approach be in Germany and what have the Great Britain coaches said to her since her Olympic heartache?

“The GB coaches are happy I am back and happy I am boxing again,” she said.

“They are impressed with how fit I have got in such a short amount of space of being told I was being entered into a tournament.

“But that was down to training at home in Far Cotton. I have really pushed myself to get fit quick.

“I am in good shape, but I wouldn’t say the best shape of my career. I am ready to box. My sharpness and fitness has got better each week.

“I think to get the best out of me now and my performances I need to learn to just relax in the ring.

“I am a good fighter, my work rate is one of the best in my division and I just need to stop being so hard on myself and stop putting pressure on myself.

“I’ve got to let my boxing come through instead.”

Superb Vaughan claims yet another national crown

Kings Heath ABC southpaw Ben Vaughan collected his sixth national title with a superb display of controlled boxing in front of a packed audience at Doncaster Dome last weekend.

In his 49th bout for the club, Vaughan gave his best performance to date, earning a unanimous decision victory.

He continually switched attacks from head to body over three fast-paced rounds.

Opponent Kai Green, of Hyde ABC, is a fellow very experienced southpaw and he did well to survive the continuous pressure in a highly competitive bout.

But Green could not work with or match the sustained pace and the relentless attacks which were delivered with precision from the in-form and very relaxed Vaughan.

“This was a performance worth waiting for,” said Kings Heath head coach Arthur Daly.

“Ben is his own biggest critic and felt he let himself down in the eliminator at York Hall, but he was quietly determined and completely focused to put it right, and he did it in some style in a pressurised environment.

“He was quality from start to finish.

“Everyone knows he has got a big engine but he put boxing skills together with controlled aggression and topped that with a tight defence in one of the finest performances I have seen for some time.”

Vaughan now travels to Ireland for a 10-day camp with the England team in preparation for the World Championships.

“England would do well to note this performance,” Daly said.

“As it stands, he is not currently the number one choice, but that decision in our 
view is questionable on this form.”

Meanwhile, Adam Elliot had to dig very deep to claim his place in the Novice semi-final at middleweight over three action-packed rounds against teak-tough Danny Glover (West Warwickshire) .

Finding himself behind going into the last round, Elliot committed himself with a final round onslaught which captivated everyone who witnessed it as both lads battled to the final bell.

Elliot could not have given any more as he claimed a split decision in a bout that could have gone either way, but the judges appeared to favour the Kings Heath fighter, who refused to take a step backwards and would simply not be denied in a bout that was boxed at a tremendous and skilful pace throughout.

Amun Kalyan lost his unbeaten record in an equally impressive affair against Cole Johnson (Orme) at welterweight.

Kalyan, who is a work in progress, can take heart from his showing as the club now look to step him up during the coming months.

Pensee enjoys win over Archer

Far Cotton light-welterweight Josh Pensee spelled out his ambitions to turn professional after belting out a good win in Solihull, writes MATTHEW BOZEAT.

Pensee took a tough fight with Ashley Archer at only two days’ notice – and won a split decision on the judges’ scorecards.

The 27-year-old from Semilong revealed afterwards: “I want to have a few more amateurs to polish my style, go in the Elites next year and then turn professional.

“I really want to go professional in the next few months.

“Boxing is my passion. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

John Daly has been in Pensee’s corner since he first went to the Towcester Road gym at the age of 13, shortly after he arrived in the country from the Seychelles, and believes he is well suited to the paid ranks.

Daly said: “Josh does well when he spars the pros at Jon Pegg’s gym in Birmingham. Jon says he has a relaxed, American style and everywhere he goes, he makes a good impression inside the ring and out.

“He does the business in the ring and outside it, everyone likes him.

“Josh runs to the gym for every training session and is the last to leave. Everyone at the gym looks up to him. He is like the club captain.”

The highlight of Pensee’s 37-bout amateur career to date was when he struck gold at the Haringey Box Cup at Alexandra Palace three years ago.

He’s also won a Central Area belt – and his last win was a good one. Daly describes Archer as “tall, strong and he’s always there in front of you” and he also had the backing of his home crowd at the Landrover Club.

The fans saw a good fight.

Pensee, whose girlfriend Chitie gave birth to daughter Esmee three months ago, said: “It was toe to toe in the centre of the ring for most of the fight. Neither of us had a breather.”