Chantelle Cameron passed the ultimate test by beating Katie Taylor on Saturday night in Dublin.
Northampton’s Cameron was already the undisputed welterweight champion, but in Taylor she faced a legend of the sport – Olympic gold medalist, world titlist at two weights and reigning undisputed champion at 135lbs – who was battling in Ireland for the first time in his professional career.
But Cameron handled the occasion and handed Taylor her first professional loss by majority decision.
Cameron’s head trainer, Jamie Moore, had always been convinced that she had the style to beat Taylor, or at least get her in serious trouble.
“His jab is really underrated,” he said of Cameron. “Her distance, her timing, I don’t think people have talked about it much, maybe it goes under the radar and she doesn’t get the credit for it.
“I think people were surprised at how quickly she got into the fight,” he continued. “Right away, within a minute of the first round, I said she was going [win easily].
“It didn’t go exactly the way I had previously planned because Katie didn’t go through the blocks as fast as she usually does. Because she knew she had to save herself. [for later in the contest].”
He added: “Katie is so good with her feet, her distance, her timing. The way she drops counter punches and checks left hooks and all that instantly, for the vast majority of fighters it makes them hesitant. so they guess each other next by coming forward and letting go of the hands.
“She usually wins the fight or mentally masters the fight in the first two rounds.”
Cameron also had the right experience for this moment. It has not been accelerated, as others may be. Although Cameron is undefeated, she had tough fights and progressed step by step.
She won the vacant WBC 140lb title in 2020 and defended it in Las Vegas the following year. Her unification fight at The O2 ended in headlining when a Dillian Whyte fight was canceled and she beat Jessica McCaskill, an undisputed welterweight champion, to become undisputed at welterweight. .
These are all preparatory experiences for Cameron to take on the biggest fight of his life.
But Jamie Moore thinks the mental techniques Cameron had honed made all the difference.
“Everybody, rightly so, is obsessed with training the body. I firmly believe that when you’re a world class fighter, or at least a British class fighter, you know how to fight. On some level , small percentages make a big difference,” he said. sky sports.
“So if you’re mentally prepared, you’ll have a better chance against an equal level of talent. I always tell my fighters to make sure you’re in there – as long as you’re in shape and all – that your mind must be in the right place.”
Cameron also worked with a mental coach.
“People have so much respect for Katie, rightly so, so it can be a bit overwhelming for opponents and they don’t engage in it, because they have a lot of respect for her,” Moore said.
“I kept telling Chantelle that I know we have a lot of respect for Katie but at night for half an hour you have no respect for her. You go in there and you dominate her and then after we come back to how it was before.
“We talked about how long Katie’s ringwalk would be, drag us out. It was all going to be against us, but I needed her mind to be in the right place for it.”
They also used “trigger words” to deal with challenges.
“I try to have different words for different fights for different reasons,” Moore revealed. “I just threw them all fight week.
“We found these trigger words like ‘no respect’ and ‘no problem’. One of them was ‘no problem’ and it sounds very simple, but when the noise came to the arena and everything the world was clapping and screaming for Katie I was just looking at Chantelle and I kept smiling and saying, ‘No problem’ and she was repeating to me, ‘No problem.’
“Little things like that, when drilled and drilled for weeks and weeks, make you forget what else is going on and keep you focused on the laser. I kept telling him that again and again and it worked wonderfully.”
He expects Cameron to improve as well.
“If she can do it in these conditions,” he warned, “then she can do it anywhere.”