EXCLUSIVE: Chantelle Cameron on signing with Matchroom, the ‘dream’ Katie Taylor clash and how Eddie Hearn’s doing ‘unreal things’ for women’s boxing
Britain’s Chantelle Cameron has praised Eddie Hearn for doing ‘unreal’ things for women’s boxing after she signed with his promotional outfit Matchroom Boxing.
The 28 year-old was announced as Hearn’s latest acquisition last week, with the Essex-based promoter also confirming her next bout will be for a world title.
And Cameron, who has fought her way to a professional record of 12-0 with the help of management company MTK Global, is thrilled by what Hearn is doing for females in the sport.
Speaking to NewsChain, she said: "It’s giving us women the opportunities. He’s letting us headline, he’s putting us in world title shots, he’s opening the door for us."
Hearn has represented Irish superstar Katie Taylor since she turned pro in 2016.
Since then, the 34-year-old has become the undisputed lightweight champion and one of the biggest female stars in the sport, something Cameron believes other promoters can learn from.
"It’s great, I think more promoters need to jump on board with it," she added. "Eddie took a massive gamble with letting Katie (Taylor) headline. Now he’s letting Natasha Jonas and Terri Harper headline. He’s taking these gambles and it’s boosting women’s boxing.
"We’ve still got a long way to go but he’s helping to push it and you need someone like Eddie to push it, otherwise it’s never going to grow and it’s always going to be bottom of the pile. It’s getting there, it’s still got a long way to go."
Cameron’s move to link up with Hearn and Matchroom also brings with it the broadcast exposure on Sky in the UK and DAZN in the US.
And the Northampton-born fighter is well aware of the golden chance she now has to make a name for herself.
"It is the best move for me really, especially knowing that I’m in line for a world title shot next and Matchroom are the biggest promoters in the UK in my opinion, in the world," she said. "Eddie’s doing unreal things for women’s boxing at the moment so it made sense to sign with him because he’s looking after his women fighters.
"Everyone wants to sign with Matchroom, don’t they? People who say they don’t, that’s a lie. Because with Matchroom you get the platform, you get the profile, you get looked after.
"I’ve just had to bide my time and I got a deal in the end."
Cameron became mandatory for Taylor’s WBC lightweight title back in July as she eyed her world championship shot.
But when that failed to arise, she dusted herself down and became mandatory for the WBC super-lightweight crown thanks to a win over Anahi Ester Sanchez in November.
And it is the strong position she now holds in both weight classes that meant she felt it the right time to sign with Hearn.
She said: "I could have signed with Eddie a year or two ago but I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now. MTK have managed me to two-divisions mandatory and I’ve gone to the table with more to offer.
"The frustration has played into my favour because I’m more determined now. I can’t wait to get in there and get my world title shot. Now knowing my next fight is a world title shot is an unbelievable feeling. All the frustration has been worth it."
It is not yet known where or when Cameron’s world title fight will come, nor is it confirmed who it will be against.
However, one thing that is almost certain is it will be on a show staged behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hearn will begin the first of his four ‘Fight Camp’ shows at Matchroom’s headquarters in Essex on August 1.
And while Cameron will not feature on any of those shows through the summer, she has stressed she will not wait until crowds return to the sport.
“Obviously, boxing for the world title, I would love my family and friends to be there," she said. "It’s going to be a life-changing moment, it will be an emotional moment as well. But I’m not going to say that I’ll wait until next year because I’ve waited long enough.
"Behind closed doors or not a fight is a fight. I want to be world champion so I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do. Everyone is in the same boat so I’m just going to treat it as a fight. I don’t really need a crowd to get me going.
"Obviously it does help, it gives you a boost and gets your adrenaline pumping, but you’ve got to think of the bigger picture. I want to win this world title and then when the crowds in stadiums come back my friends and family can come to watch me defend it."
Despite the difficulties lockdown has caused, Cameron has managed to keep herself in good condition by sparring fellow Brit Natasha Jonas, who will challenge WBC super-featherweight champion Terri Harper in the second of Hearn’s Brentwood shows next month.
It is clear that the big fight everyone is talking about now following Cameron’s link-up with Hearn is the clash with Taylor.
And while Cameron is not shy in admitting it is the fight she wants above all others, she also stresses she will not wait for another shot at the woman who beat her as an amateur.
She said: "I knew that with Eddie the fight could be made a lot easier.
"I’ve made it very clear that I want that fight. I’m always going to want that fight, I don’t care when, where, nothing, I want that fight because for me that’s my dream fight.
"And with Eddie it’s a lot easier because we’re both with him now. But I’m not going to wait around for Katie, there’s other opponents out there for me and I’ve just got to crack on with my career and not wait around."