In a fight between two undefeated, undisputed fighters, and in Taylor’s first professional bout in her native Ireland, the ten rounds flew by as the pair exchanged right through to the final bell, with Cameron relentless in putting the pressure on the home favourite.
The step up in weight proved to be too great a challenge for Taylor, with Cameron getting the decision by majority decision - 96-94 on two cards and a 95-95 draw on the other - to keep hold of her titles and cement herself as one of the very best in women’s boxing.
“I was petrified,” Cameron, now 18-0, said after hearing the first judged had scored it level.
“I’ve seen results go the other way in the past. It was a close fight and Katie is a great boxer, pound-for-pound the best. My strength is putting the pressure on. I don’t mind getting hit so my corner let me off the leash.”
Taylor’s homecoming bout was initially planned to be a rematch with Amanda Serrano, a year on from their thrilling first fight in New York. Hopes of a Croke Park occasion fell away due to financial issues before Serrano then pulled out with injury, with Taylor, to her huge credit, deciding to challenge Cameron at 140lbs.
The Northampton fighter had the better of the fight from the opening rounds and Taylor was unable to get herself out of trouble in the closing stages. A frantic pace was set by Cameron, pushing Taylor back onto the ropes and even the combinations that came back were not enough to force a backwards step.
The sixth round saw the pair stand firm in the centre of the ring and trade, though that suited Cameron as the bigger fighter and she enjoyed success with the uppercut throughout. Taylor briefly threatened to get herself back into it as the fight moved into the second half, but a strong ninth from Cameron effectively sealed victory and she ensured much of the final round was spent in the clinch.
Taylor had no complaints with the cards, as the pound-for-pound great swiftly turned her attention to a rematch rather than a return to 135lbs, where she remains undisputed champion. Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed it is likely to take place in Dublin this autumn.
“I was expecting a gruelling fight and that’s what it was,” Taylor said.
“I obviously came up short. I always love a challenge and I’m looking forward to the rematch. This isn’t how I wanted the homecoming to go but I’m grateful that this event could sell out in a couple of minutes.”
Earlier in the night, Gary Cully’s fight with Jose Felix Jr was promoted to chief support, after Cecilia Braekhus pulled out of her bout with Terri Harper due to illness.
The Irish crowd were right behind Cully, but the Irish fighter was stunned as he was stopped in the third round by Felix, having already been dropped twice. While the referee allowed him to continue, even after a left hook caught Cully flush and completely took his balance away, eventually the towel came in as Felix pulled off a huge upset.
Dennis Hogan lost his IBO super-welterweight title, JJ Metcalf taking the belt back to Liverpool after a unanimous points victory, while there were wins for Thomas Carty, Caoimhin Agyarko and Paddy Donovan earlier in the night.