‘I don’t need a crowd to motivate me!’ - Chantelle Cameron unfazed ahead of huge world title fight
Chantelle Cameron insists she won’t be affected bythe absence of fans during her first world title fight this weekend.
The 29-year-old Northampton-based boxer will take on Adriana dos Santos Araujo at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes on Sunday with the WBC Super-Lightweight Title on the line.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the show is taking place behind closed doors, a factor which could hamper some fighters more than others.
But Cameron, who is making her debut on Sky and with promotional company Matchroom Boxing, feels the lack of crowd could actually work in her favour.
"I’m not complacent," she said. "I don’t think it’s going to affect me at all (an empty venue), I actually think I’m going to enjoy it a bit more. Obviously, I don’t know because I’ve not boxed behind closed doors, but I don’t think it’s going to phase me at all. I’m very focused on what I do and what I do is fight and win.
"Weird? Yeah. But I don’t need a crowd to motivate me and get my adrenaline up. My adrenaline is going to be up as soon as I land that first shot."
All fighters on Sunday evening’s show - which is being headlined by rising star Joshua Buatsi - have been tested for COVID-19 and returned negative results meaning they are cleared to box.
However, promoter Eddie Hearn was not so fortunate as he returned the only positive test out of all of those in the ‘fight bubble’ and was subsequently sent home to self-isolate for ten days.
So Cameron’s new promoter will not be there to witness her Matchroom debut, but that has not stopped her from heaping pressure on herself to perform.
"I put a lot of pressure on myself, but it’s not about the world title, it’s about boxing on my first fight for Matchroom and making sure I put on a good performance," she said.
"I feel like obviously the world title fight is a dream come true, but I also want to put on a good performance."
Cameron and Araujo are both undefeated as professionals and also have impressive amateur backgrounds.
The Brit was a European silver medallist at 140 pounds back in 2010, while Araujo beat the likes of Natasha Jonas and also gave undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor a standing count in what was her amateur debut.
With that being said though, Cameron, who has had double the number of pro fights compared to her opponent, does not feel the Brazilian has boxed anyone on her level.
“Yeah, of course (she’s undefeated), she’s got a great pedigree as well," she added.
"But from her record in the pros she’s not really boxed anyone that is on that level so records don’t really phase me unless you look at their record and they’ve boxed good people and I don’t think Adriana has that."
Cameron worked her way into the mandatory position for the WBC title at not only super-lightweight but also lightweight as she sought out a fight with Irish superstar Taylor, someone who beat her in the amateurs.
But she failed to secure the clash as Taylor went down the route of a rematch with Belgian Delfine Persoon, one she narrowly came through back in August.
Now Cameron has turned her attention towards alternative routes and is refusing to look past Araujo this weekend.
But when pressed on what could possibly happen if she gets the win, she insists she is up for any big fight, whether that be Taylor, Persoon or anyone else.
"It (the WBC title) will be like a carrot dangling in front of my opposition now," she said. "If I win this world title fight - which god willing I do - it will be bait for the other world champions.
"It’s the world championship belt most people want (the WBC). To most people it’s the major world title. So, if I win this, then I’ve got a good bargaining tool."