Chris Oliver is expecting Katie Taylor to come up short in her rematch with Chantelle Cameron when the pair renew rivalries on Saturday.
3pts Chantelle Cameron to win by decision 10/11 (Sky Bet)
2pts David Benavidez to win by decision 6/4 (Sky Bet, Betfred)
Katie Taylor has done it all in her amazing career apart from show she can respond to a defeat, but she gets the chance to do that on Saturday night.
Her dream homecoming at Dublin’s 3Arena in May turned into a nightmare as CHANTELLE CAMERON inflicted a first defeat as a professional on the Irish icon and they return to the same venue to do it all again this weekend, live on DAZN.
Having never previously boxed in Ireland since entering the paid ranks, the stage was set for Taylor to make a triumphant return to her homeland as the undisputed lightweight champion stepped up to challenge Cameron for all the marbles at super lightweight. However, Cameron clearly didn’t read the brief on the invite and spoiled the party with a fantastic display.
Despite scorecards of 95-95 and 96-94 twice, Cameron always looked to be doing enough and, while it was competitive throughout, there was little doubt about who deserved to get the nod. Thankfully, for those who followed this column’s advice of Cameron by decision at 5/2, the judges weren’t swayed by the partisan crowd and the right person got the decision.
Starting as a 13/8 underdog, Cameron pressed the action from the first bell and was able to back up the local lady onto the ropes with her aggressive approach, as Taylor struggled to deter the advances of her bigger opponent.
We’re used to seeing Taylor on her toes and rattling off combinations before skipping out of range, but she was unable to do so as Cameron’s excellent footwork allowed her to cut off the ring and close the distance quickly. Based on the foundations of her fine jab, Cameron took most of the early rounds and while Taylor rallied in the second half like the great champion she is, the Englishwoman responded in kind and was able to maintain the lead she had built up.
Taylor, who was a 4/7 shot first time around, finds herself in the unusual position of being the underdog and can be backed at 7/4 to gain revenge, with Cameron just 4/7 to repeat the dose. The roles may have been reversed by the odds compilers, but I don’t envisage any change when it comes to the winner’s hand being raised.
Taylor has been an incredible ambassador for the female game and has led from the front as women’s boxing has surged in popularity over the last few years, while she has long been a sporting legend in her native land. However, it has been a long, hard career and, now 37 years old, it is to be expected that she is on the slide now.
It seems a long time ago that she won gold at London 2012, and she went through another Olympic cycle following that success, while she has been very active since ditching the headguard and vest for her first professional outing almost seven years ago to the day.
Her history-making showdown with Amanda Serrano at a sold-out Madison Square Garden in April last year exceeded expectations and will go down as a game-changing event for women's boxing, but those kinds of battles put miles on the clock, and it certainly wasn’t the first war of attrition she has had to endure in the ring.
Conversely, Cameron (18-0) remains on an upward curve and is only expected to improve further following the biggest moment of her career six months ago.
While she was already an established champion, the Northampton native had never encountered the kind of attention that comes with a Katie Taylor fight week and going into the cauldron in front of 8,000 fans screaming for her opponent would have been a whole new experience to her. To her credit, Cameron didn’t seem fazed one bit, but she will know what to expect this time and her confidence will have gone to new heights after beating a legend of the sport in her own back yard.
Taylor must start faster if she’s to gain redemption and she probably will, but once again she will be met by Cameron on the front foot, and it was the latter who regularly fared better when they exchanged at close quarters in May.
Understandably at her age, Taylor appeared to be slowing down a little in the first clash and Cameron was able to more than match her for speed, which meant the former had to stand and trade more often than she would have liked. Taylor struggled with the constant physical presence of the super lightweight champion and that could be the story of the fight again, as Cameron does the full 10 rounds at a high pace and will be applying educated pressure for the full 20 minutes.
It’s 2/9 to go the distance, so we’re likely to hear from the judges again and it will take a phenomenal effort from Taylor to turn the tables at this stage of her career. It would be the perfect ending to a fantastic career if Taylor can gain revenge against the odds and bow out with a rematch victory, but the head must rule the heart when it comes to punting and another CAMERON POINTS VICTORY is very hard to get away from at 10/11.
The visitor outworked and outhustled the local favourite first time around and Cameron is fancied to do the same again.
The big-fight action continues on FITETV in the early hours of Sunday morning as DAVID BENAVIDEZ and Demetrius Andrade put their unbeaten records on the line in Las Vegas.
They battle for the right to fight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez for all the belts at super middleweight and most fans will be hoping Benavidez gets that opportunity, largely due to patience running out for most observers when it comes to Andrade.
For someone who is unbeaten in 32 outings and has held world titles at 154lb and 160lb, it seems bizarre to say Andrade hasn’t really fought anyone world class yet but that is the case, despite a decade of promising big fights and marquee names. That is partly down to him and his team, as well as politics, because his style isn’t particularly fan-friendly and he doesn’t pull much of a crowd.
On the other hand, Benavidez is an aggressive all-rounder with a varied arsenal of shots, and he has gained a following as a result. With a perfect 27-fight record, the 26-year-old looks to be over his problems with lack of discipline outside the ring and is ready for the box-office contests following his career-best victory over Caleb Plant, who was bloodied and comprehensively outpointed in March.
This is the biggest test to date for both men, but that victory over Plant is the best form on offer, along with Benavidez’s ninth-round stoppage of Anthony Dirrell in 2019, and that’s why he is a 2/7 favourite to notch win number 28.
Andrade, who can be backed at 10/3, has been as frustrating as he is talented through his stop-start career. The 35-year-old has shown flashes of brilliance and usually starts fast but tends to coast/fade thereafter and consistently flatters to deceive.
Andrade’s southpaw stance and speed of hand and foot will present Benavidez with something to think about, but the underdog also finds himself in the unusual position of conceding height and reach in only his second outing at 168lb. Andrade is used to boxing smaller opponents at lower weights and, now in with a genuinely top-class opponent and one who is bigger than him, he could be in trouble.
Expected Andrade to start fast and look good early doors, but once Benavidez finds his range then it could be one-way traffic from there on in as the favourite goes through the gears and Andrade’s stamina issues come into play again. The latter could then go into survival mode, and he is skilful enough to see out the 12 rounds if all he is looking to do is avoid punishment in the later rounds.
Benavidez proved he can deal with a slick and talented boxer with his decision over Plant and he is fancied to repeat that result here at 6/4.
Posted at 1110 GMT on 24/11/23
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