Katie Taylor: ‘I hate all these press conferences...there’s nothing to say, I’m just ready to fight’

Taylor steps into the ring for the second time against Northampton’s Chantelle Cameron having lost to her last May in Dublin’s 3Arena

When promoter Eddie Hearn promised that Katie Taylor would be cutting back on commitments to media this week in what has been billed as a career-defining moment for the Irish lightweight world champion, he meant it.

Facing Chantelle Cameron for the second time since her first professional defeat last May in Dublin, Taylor was brief and to the point at the official press conference in Dublin city on Thursday.

“I’m very, very grateful for this opportunity,” said Taylor. “I have a second chance here and I just can’t wait to fight – whether I’m underdog or favourite. Whoever walks to the ring first or second...all that stuff is irrelevant. I’m just excited and hungry and I can’t wait to step in there and perform the way I can.

“I feel a lot better this time around. I’m ready to fight. I hate all the talk. I hate all these press conferences...there’s nothing (more) to say, I’m just ready to fight at this stage...I’m just ready.”


Last time out, Taylor’s ring walk lasted over six minutes and she was favourite. Although the challenger, she was also second into the ring in a battle of hierarchy prior to the bout, forcing Cameron to wait until she arrived.

The contest in May was for Cameron’s super lightweight belts, not Taylor’s lightweight belts. It is the same again on Saturday and for the run-in Taylor has cast off all distractions. She again meets Cameron at 140 pounds, five heavier than her natural 135 pounds. A win would cast her as the best pound-for-pound female boxer. But even that seemed like a diversion from this week’s main path.

“I guess so, I don’t take too much notice of what people are saying,” said Taylor. “I’m very much single-minded. The only people I listen to are my team, my family and the people I trust. I understand this is a huge fight, a must-win fight for me and I can’t wait to step in there. It’s going to be a completely different fight than the last time and I’m just excited to showcase that.”

Cameron and her coach Jamie Moore were hesitant to embrace the whole package of coming to Dublin again, Taylor’s hometown, after winning the first meeting. Cameron’s preference was for a venue in England and if not at home a neutral country away from the UK and Ireland.

But the purses dictated which city the fight could take place and with Taylor’s reputed seven-figure sum and her pulling power with the fans, Dublin’s 3Arena offered a more financially viable package than anywhere else.

“We wanted it at home, we wanted it at a neutral ground, The O2 – now this was early, early on,” said Moore. “Abu Dhabi, somewhere where if it wasn’t going to be at home it was at least going to be neutral. We sort of understood early doors that they were pretty intent on coming back to Dublin. So, we just said right listen it is what it is, we’ve done it before so let’s just do it.

“We’re back in Dublin, so that in itself speaks a lot in terms of Eddie’s (Hearn) priority. Seemed like from the beginning (it) was to get Katie the rematch in her hometown, probably to try and give her more of an advantage but like Chantelle says, there’s flip sides to everything. Having home advantage and having that support is a positive, but the pressure is a negative. So, it just all depends.”

Much had been made of Taylor’s physical condition for the first bout with her coach Ross Enamait claiming they were in a “much, much better place than we were last time around” and a lot healthier. Whether it was an ailment or injury was not disclosed, although, the prospect of a rebooted Taylor didn’t affect the equanimity of Cameron.

She expects her opponent to be better than she was. The Northampton boxer, five years Taylor’s junior at 32, also claims changes and improvements have been made to her boxing package.

“People are so proud of me in Northampton,” said Cameron. “I’ve put my small little town on the map, which I’m very proud of doing. I’m born and bred in Northampton but as much as I’m getting the recognition now, nothing changes for me. I’ve still got that champion mentality and I’m always trying to improve. So, nothing changes that much. I just want to make sure that I’m a better boxer and just keep improving.

“I literally feel zero pressure. I mean, it’s all on Katie. I’m back in Dublin, in Katie’s country, and as much as I’m defending my belts, for me it’s just another fight and one I’ve already won after the last time and I think I’ll win more convincingly this time. I’m just coming back here to make sure I get that win. I never go for a stoppage. If it’s there it’s there.”

Promoter Hearn claims neutrality, although, the prospect of a Trilogy has already whetted his appetite for a third meeting between the pair. That means Taylor must win and the mention of Croke Park again, by Hearn, would ensure Cameron arriving back in Dublin for a third time with another large purse to cushion the blow.

For this bout, the expensive tickets and the cheaper seats were sold quickly with the mid-priced positions of €500 a seat the last to be picked up. But a Trilogy, Croke Park, a sparky Cameron was frankly not enthusiastic about either because it means Taylor must beat her and that’s not on her mind.

“I am not thinking about losing,” she said. “All I think about is winning. In my head, it is up to the fighter. But you wouldn’t want to see a trilogy.

“You wouldn’t want to see Katie Taylor beat three times.”

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times