Chantelle Cameron: Unified world champion in ‘junk’ six months and ‘disappearing’ from boxing

Chantelle Cameron raises her hand in victory
Chantelle Cameron is undefeated in 15 professional fights
Local: O2, London Date: Saturday, May 21
Roof: Live on BBC Radio 5 Live from 22:00 BST and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app from 21:00 BST.

Chantelle Cameron is ready to take out her “frustrations” on Victoria Bustos in her world title defense Saturday night in London.

The Brit, 31, hasn’t boxed since October when she defeated Mary McGee USA to become the magazine’s unified WBC, IBF and Ring welterweight champion.

It was a guaranteed performance that set up a potential undisputed fight with another American, WBA and WBO belt holder Kali Reis. But Reis’ fight has since fizzled and Bustos has been called up as a provisional opponent for Cameron on the undercard of Joshua Buatsi’s domestic clash with Craig Richards at the O2 Arena this weekend.

“I just got off the radar,” says Cameron.

“I had my fight in October, the moment was there. Kali had her fight, people were excited for that fight and then the rug was pulled out from under me and I was gone.

“I tried so hard to stay positive and keep going, but it was really hard. I had no idea what was going on and I wasn’t getting any answers.”

Cameron, who is unbeaten in 15 fights, has harbored thoughts of stepping away from boxing earlier in her career, but has found new life under Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom promotion.

Her hopes were high when she signed a tournament contract with Reis and the duo’s rivals McGee and Jessica Camara that would culminate in an undisputed fight. But with Reis unavailable to fight after the victory over Camara, Cameron says he’s stayed in no man’s land, hoping to fight her in early 2022.

“I had a little trouble,” she says.

“I had a little slip up before when I changed gyms, as I was going to walk away from boxing. But this is the first time I lost my momentum and felt ‘this is a bunch of rubbish, boxing sucks’ like it was a mental battle .

“When you’re not boxing, it’s costing money. If you’re not boxing, you’re not going to get sponsors. I need to be there and my promotion talking about me, otherwise you go unnoticed and that’s what it costs and puts your career on the line.” on hold.”

Will the undisputed fight happen?

Chantelle Cameron and Kali Reiss face off
Cameron and Reis were supposed to fight in early 2022

Argentina’s Bustos, 33, has 22 wins and six losses in her record. She fought in several world title fights, losing to Katie Taylor at lightweight and Cecilia Braekhus at welterweight.

Despite her pedigree, she is not the opponent Cameron wanted. Her focus remains on securing the undisputed title, but she admits she’s not sure if the Reis fight will happen this year.

With Taylor and Amanda Serrano taking women’s boxing to new heights and Claressa Shields vs. Savannah Marshall arriving later this year, Cameron is desperate to get back on the women’s boxing bandwagon.

“I would love to say, yes, the Kali fight is going to happen, but for the last few months I’ve had it, I’m not even going to worry if it doesn’t,” says the Northampton fighter.

“I’m not going to put all my eggs in that basket because mentally it’s been so taxing. If it happens, great, but if it doesn’t, I won’t be shocked.”

As for Bustos, Cameron is looking forward to putting the last six months behind him with a great performance.

“I don’t want to be wild, but I’m definitely looking forward to fighting someone and putting a dent or two in them,” she adds.

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