'There is loads happening': Chantelle Cameron interview
Photo: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Chantelle Cameron tells Sonia Randev that a world title shot is imminent and explains how trainers Jamie Moore and Nigel Travis have built her confidence...
Chantelle Cameron is no stranger to the disappointments and setbacks that most boxers face throughout their careers. Once a hot prospect for Team GB, she won a bronze and silver medal at European championship level, but missed out on the Rio Olympics.
The road has been far from easy for the 28-year-old from Northampton, but with a world title fight soon to be announced she now looks set for the huge nights of boxing her talents demand ... Cameron spoke to Sonia Randev about her career to date...
BM: You were a kick-boxer before you took up boxing full time, what made you make the transition to boxing?
CC: I started out in kick-boxing as I loved it and found it really entertaining. My dad would drive me up to Birmingham three or four times a week to train in Birmingham. I became World, European and British Champion which was a great achievement for me but there just wasn’t enough money in it. Both my father and I were dedicating so much to the sport but with little financial reward. I actually got into boxing through kick-boxing. My trainer said to practice boxing at home which would help with my hand speed. So after training in a boxing gym in Northampton I just fell in love with it.
BM: You were a part of Team GB but missed out on the 2016 Olympics. What was running through your mind at that point?
CC: I joined Team GB in 2012 as the Women’s boxing was taking place. I was a relative novice at this stage so my focus was to work towards the 2016 Olympics. I won Bronze and Silver at the European Championships but unfortunately fell short ahead of the Olympics. I felt like my whole life had been turned upside down. The disappointment I felt was overwhelming and I also felt like I let my mum and dad down.
BM: You turned pro soon after – what was the transition like?
CC: It was really hard as in the amateurs and at Team GB you are covered. Your training, physio, travel. You get a monthly fee. Once you turn pro you are on your own. You rely on sponsors and fight money to get through which can prove to be tough when you are not getting big fights. Sponsors are more interested in supporting someone who has an Olympic gold medal or someone that fights in big fights and on TV. It really is about profile and getting yourself out there but I focus on my boxing skill because I want to be the best boxer in my weight. It’s difficult to balance the business and boxing side of it but I have a great management team in F5 Sports management who take care of that for me now. I am also really grateful to the people that have come on board and supported me.
BM: You are now being trained by Jamie Moore and managed by MTK. What impact has that had on your career since you made the move?
CC: I am so happy with the way things are now. Working with Jamie and Nigel [Travis] has really lifted me and built my confidence on a professional and personal level. Nigel is so funny which makes training that more enjoyable. MTK are working hard to get me the fights and I just feel like my career is going in the right direction. I have definitely improved as a fighter.
BM: You’ve won both your eliminators – what’s the next step? Are we going to see you in a world title fight soon?
CC: I won both my eliminators so I am next in line for a world title fight where I will be contesting for the WBA and WBC super lightweight titles which I have been told will be my next fight so I'm just awaiting on the final details. It is all about the big fights and winning belts and showing people what I am really capable off. The world title fight is not against Katie Taylor – I can’t see that fight happening now but you never know! Although I'm a natural lightweight I fought at super lightweight in my last fight and feel comfortable at that weight. I have also been shortlisted for the WBC Women Revelation of the year award so there is loads happening!