There is a tendency from fight fans that, when a big-name fighter loses, they call for him or her to retire, especially if the fighter in question is past the mid-30s mark (fans forget how many thousands of journeymen types all around the world, plenty of them way past the age of 30, carry on fighting after losing dozens of times, with no calls for their retirement from the sport).
Really, in the minds of some fans, one loss can signal the end. Case in point, Katie Taylor. Taylor, the undisputed world lightweight champ, lost to Chantelle Cameron a week ago, this in a big, historic fight that Taylor, already a star and a future Hall of Famer in no way had to take. Taylor, as the saying goes, dared to be great in moving up in weight to fight the 140 pound ruler. Taylor lost in her bid to become a two-weight undisputed champion, yet the fight will be ran back later this year. Still, Taylor has heard those calls for her retirement, even if she isn’t listening to them.
“I don’t even know what retirement means – I definitely don’t feel like it’s time for me to retire,” Taylor told RTE. “The only fight that matters to me now, [is] the rematch with Chantelle Cameron. We’re looking at a November date. It [retirement] will happen one day in the future, but now my sights are set on securing a rematch with Chantelle. I take it fight by fight and year by year, but right now I’m not going to end my career like that. I’m just excited to get back to America to start training for the rematch. There is definitely a lot I would do differently. I will learn from this.”
For this, for acting like a true champion, Taylor should be applauded. At age 36, and with a 22-1(6) record, why would Taylor be thinking about retirement? One loss and done? This is not Taylor’s style. We should all be grateful we have a warrior like Taylor around today, one who is willing to fight the best and to try and achieve all she can in the ring. And how the opinions of people will change if Taylor does manage to get revenge over Cameron, 18-0(8) later this year. Those retirement calls will be silenced, just like that.
But can Taylor win the rematch? Was/is Cameron just too big for Taylor? There is some possibility the rematch could happen down at 135 pounds, which would suit Taylor. But even then, can Taylor do it? She’s going to try, because that’s what true champions do. And it’s possible the rematch will be bigger, and better, than the first Cameron-Taylor fight.
Let’s not write Katie Taylor off just yet.