BOXING: Northampton world champion Cameron ready for Las Vegas defence

Northampton boxer Chantelle Cameron is gearing up for the first defence of her WBC World Light-Welterweight title in Las Vegas this weekend.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 9:51 am
Updated Friday, 28th May 2021, 9:52 am
Northampton boxer Chantelle Cameron

The 30-year-old flew out to the USA last weekend, and is this week acclimatising at her training base ahead of Saturday night’s bout with Melissa Hernandez at the Michelob ULTRA Arena in Mandalay Bay.

The fight is being shown live across the globe on DAZN, and former Kings Heath amateur Cameron can’t wait to once again show the world just how good she is.

The Northampton ace won the world title behind closed doors in Milton Keynes last October when she saw off Ariana dos Santos Araujo at the Marshall Arena, but she will once again experience the buzz of the crowd when she steps in the ring this weekend.

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Cameron had initially been due to fight the experienced Hernandez in March, but had to pull out through injury, and now the pair have gone Stateside to get it on.

Puerto Rican Hernandez has a record of 23 wins, seven defeats and three draws from her 33 fights, but the 41-year-old hasn’t stepped into the ring since her last win over Selina Barrios in April, 2019.

Cameron, who has a 100 per cent win record from her 13 professional fights, including seven knockouts, is in confident mood ahead of the fight, and is relishing the fact she is now the hunted with a world title to lose, rather than the hunter.

“I feel good being the target,” Cameron told matchroomboxing.com

“It’s better than doing the chasing, that’s frustrating, you are just trying to get the fights and a title shot, so now I know I am going to get fights because people want my belt.

“Being world champion has not really sunk in yet, and nothing has changed because it’s been so long since I won the fight, and I haven’t been able to defend it yet.

“So, I don’t think it’ll really feel it will sink in until I win more belts, but I still feel the same, still have the same drive, the same hunger, and now I am a target.

“I used to have to chase people for fights but now I have the green and gold belt, I am the target.”

The dedicated Cameron, who can be regularly seen out running on the pavements of Northampton, insists she is still very much at the beginning of her career, and that she has yet to even show what she is truly capable of.

“The best of me is yet to come, the fight hasn’t come where I get to show that,” she said.

“I boxed to my game plan to win the belt and did what I had to do and what my coaches told me.

“She (Araujo) is a big puncher so I knew I didn’t want to be taking risks and getting involved with someone that could put me on my backside.

“When I do get the fight that shows what I can really do, I think people will acknowledge me more.”

And she added: “Everyone is so desperate to stay undefeated, but this is a sport, we all have to climb the ladder and if you are that good, then box anyone – that’s my mentality.

“If I become undisputed and someone is calling me out and they’ve proved themselves, let’s take the fight.”

Cameron’s clash with Hernandez is part of a big night of action that is headlined by unbeaten WBC World Lightweight champion Devin Haney defending his title against former World champion Jorge Linares.

Also on the bill is the WBO NABO Middleweight title fight between Jason Quigley and Shane Mosley Jr, while Martin J Ward faces Azinga Fuzile in a final eliminator for the IBF World Super-Featherweight title.

Making up the card are fights featuring Khalil Coe, Reshat Mati, Ramla Ali and Darren Cunningham.

The live coverage on the DAZN streaming service starts at 1am on Sunday UK time. Go to dazn.com for full details.