BOXING: Northampton’s Cameron ready to conquer pro arena

Chantelle Cameron

Chantelle Cameron

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Chantelle Cameron can’t wait to put her stamp on professional boxing as she prepares to make her debut in Cardiff on May 26.

Cameron will face Poland’s Kristina Polovikin on the same bill as flyweight champion Andrew Selby and Cardiff’s undefeated cruiserweight Craig Kennedy.

The Motorpoint Arena clash will be a great chance for Cameron to showcase her skills as she takes the next step on her boxing journey.

The 26-year-old enjoyed a very successful amateur career, narrowly missing out on qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

She continues to train at Far Cotton ABC with head coach John Daly and has recently been steered on her professional adventure by Shane McGuigan.

“I am so excited,” Cameron said. “I was adamant I had stopped boxing and was hanging up my gloves last year, but I had a meeting with the McGuigan family in March.

“We talked about me going pro and the hunger for boxing returned.

“I am 26 now and in know pro boxing is where I want to finish my fighting career.

“I have been in the Great Britain setup for seven years and had gone stale. I was not enjoying it so this change is what I needed to keep me boxing and in the ring.”

Successful amateur fighters such as Ireland’s Katie Taylor and Cameron’s former Great Britain team-mate Nicola Adams have recently entered the pro arena.

And Cameron, who will be boxing between 58 and 62kg can’t help but be inspired by those talented scrappers.

“The pro division for women’s boxing now is on fire,” she said.

“I am going to have some good opponents and women’s pro boxing is taking off so it’s very exciting and I’m ready to put my stamp on my division.

“I’m going to be boxing between 58 and 62kg mixing up the divisions for more fights.

“Katie Taylor is a massive inspiration. She is the reason why many women are now signing over to the pro ranks. She has opened doors for the likes of me.”

So what is it like working with Barry and Shane McGuigan?

“Working with Barry McGuigan is literally a blessing,” Cameron said. “I am so happy and in such good hands.

“If I hadn’t have signed with the McGuigans, I doubt very much I would be signing as a pro as it’s a dangerous and risky business, but I know I am in very good hands.”

And Cameron is dreaming of a big homecoming in the future.

She said: “Speaking to Barry McGuigan, my manager, the long-term plan is to have a big show in Northampton which I will be headlining.

“Cyclone Promotions is what I’m boxing under and they want to bring a show to Northampton for me after I have gained some experience in the pro ranks.

“I want to get a good following behind me.”

Classy Conway scores another win in Birmingham

Unbeaten boxer Kieron Conway produced a classy performance at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham last Saturday night.

Conway’s controlled, commanding display led to promoter Eddie Hearn calling the fighter ‘Northampton’s first ever boxing superstar’.

Conway dominated southpaw opponent Jan Balog, of the Czech Republic, from the start with speedy heavy two-punch combinations.

It was clear to see the gulf in class when Conway sent his opponent to the canvas from a right to the body in the second minute of the contest.

Former Kings Heath ABC amateur Conway continued to dominate the contest through rounds two and three with similar heavy combinations.

As the fourth round started, the heavily marked-up Balog had lost all ambition to commit and Conway picked the pace up with a great variety of punches, including head-snapping uppercuts which had his opponent on the retreat.

After a flurry in the final 30 seconds from Conway which left Balog surviving and holding on for the final bell, they went to the scorecards, where Conway with his standout Cobblers socks had a 40-35 points decision victory.

Conway now has a 3-0 record as a professional boxer.

And his trainer, James Conway, said “While not wanting to rush him as he’s still young, it’s clear he’s way beyond this level of opponent so the plan is to move to a six-rounder next to prepare for title challenges.

“After 84 bouts as an amateur for both Kings Heath and England, there’s no point in kidding anyone with weak opponents. He wants to mix with the better boxers and prove what he can do.

And Kieron Conway said: “It was great to box in such a big arena on what is only my third fight.

“I know it wasn’t packed when I was on but thanks to my travelling fans - they made lots of noise.

“I can hopefully move on and be out again quickly. July might be a possibility.

“I want to also thank my sponsors. It’s really hard starting out trying to be full-time to achieve my potential so Clues Clothing, Croyland Motors, Man Unleashed, Rapid Tan, The Windmill pub and Lynn Patching all help me massively and I really appreciate it.”