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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Chantelle Cameron ‘rubbing her hands together’ at prospect of facing Kali Reis

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Chantelle Cameron and Kali Reiss face off
Chantelle Cameron will fight Kali Reis for all the light-welterweight belts next year

Britain’s Chantelle Cameron is “rubbing her hands together” at the prospect of facing the USA’s Kali Reis in the Road to Undisputed light-welterweight final.

The WBC and Ring magazine champion will fight Reis for her WBA and WBO belts next spring.

Cameron was ringside last week in New Hampshire for Reis’ gruelling 10-round split-decision win over Jessica Camara.

“I took away a lot. I saw everything I needed to see. Maybe Kali was a bit complacent,” Cameron told BBC Sport.

“She was being tagged a lot, hurt a lot as well. Jessica’s not known for being a big puncher.

“The pace was quite slow for what my pace normally is. I’m all wrong for Kali, whereas she’s all right for me.

“She was blowing too. Within in the first three rounds, she was blowing hard. I seen that and I was rubbing my hands together.

“I am going to be super fit, super strong and I’m going to be all wrong for her.”

‘Reis will improve’

Kali Reis celebrates being announced the winner
Reis beat Jessica Camara via split decision last week

The Road to Undisputed tournament is the idea of Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn, who convinced Cameron Reis, Camara and Mary McGee to take part earlier this year.

With 19 wins, seven losses and one draw on her record, Reis is vastly more experienced in the pro game than the undefeated Cameron.

The 35-year-old has fought, and lost to, pound-for-pound great Cecilia Braekhus and two-weight world champion Christian Hammer.

“Kali’s better for me [than Camara] because of who she’s boxed,” Cameron said.

But Reis was taken the distance by her dogged Canadian rival. One judge even saw Camara as the winner. “The scorecards didn’t do the fight justice,” was Cameron’s assessment of a close bout.

The Northampton fighter, though, admitted she was confident Reis would be much improved when they face each other in the ring.

Having been flown in to have a brief face-off with her fellow finalist, Cameron conceded it was hard to glean anything from Reis during the staredown.

“I told her, ‘Great fight, great performance, I’ll see you in 2022’,” Cameron said, explaining the in-ring face-off was the only interaction she had with Reis.

“She’s going to go back to the gym and make improvements. But you can’t change that much in a short amount of time.

“I’ll definitely make a few changes because she’ll watch my performance and take away ways to beat me.

“My coaches have already said how they would beat me, so we’ll work on that and make sure I strengthen that so I’m harder to beat.”

‘I want mega-fights’

Chantelle Cameron poses with her belts
Cameron holds the WBC title and Ring magazine belt

Cameron is likely to have home advantage for the undisputed fight next year and Hearn has floated the idea of staging it in Northampton.

But the 30-year-old has her eye on a spot on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s rematch with new heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk next year – which is expected to fill a giant venue such as Cardiff’s Principality Stadium or Wembley in London.

“I would prefer to be on a big undercard, to be honest,” Cameron said.

“My career is only just starting to take off and I don’t think my profile is big enough to headline Northampton at the moment.

“I think it would make more sense for me to be on the undercard of a big fight like Joshua-Usyk and then potentially headlining Northampton in a couple of fights. That would be some homecoming.”

She added: “Next year I want to be undisputed world champion and I want to have a mega-fight.

“I want to box another undisputed champion – either at lightweight or welterweight above me. I want to fight [undisputed lightweight champion] Katie Taylor or [undisputed welterweight champion] Jessica McCaskill.”

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