Updated: Oct 7
By James Knox
Former Great Britain Olympic hopeful, Chantelle Cameron, and Brazil’s 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, Adriana Araujo ready for a world title opportunity on October 4.
The vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) world super-lightweight title will be on the line when Chantelle Cameron (12-0, 7KOs) faces Adriana Araujo (6-0, 1KO). The WBC title became vacant once Jessica McCaskill became the undisputed welterweight champion by defeating Cecilia Braekhus. This fight is an undercard bout on the Joshua Buatsi vs. Marko Calic fight card. The fight can be viewed live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
Chantelle “Il Capo” Cameron, age 29, of Northampton had a singular-focused mindset of making Great Britain’s 2016 Olympic team. When the dream of making the team slipped her grasp, it took a heavy toll, “Not qualifying for that Olympics was simply one of the hardest things I’ve gone through.” (British Boxing News) The dream slowly became a nightmare as she shut herself off from the world and didn’t watch any of the Olympics that year. She also wanted nothing to do with boxing. With the thought of boxing making her “physically sick”, she attempted kickboxing, but quickly realized it was not the same. After giving boxing another shot at the Team GB Europeans, she came up short again pointing to questionable judging as the cause. Next, came the fight of her life. She was hospitalized due to a life-threatening bacterial infection known as septicemia. This kept her on the canvas for three months.
Cameron then decided to turn professional. Since turning professional her attitude toward the sport has changed for the better. She credits the shift in attitude in large part to her family and her coaches, Jamie Moore and Nigel Travis. Due to her past experiences, when Cameron enters the ring, she doesn’t want to leave anything up to the judges. Her having seven knockouts in 12 professional fights proves her point. Now Cameron is on the cusp of becoming a world champion, but she will have to do it by defeating an Olympic medalist. A level she never attained as an amateur.
Adriana “Pitbull” Araujo, age 38, knows the hourglass is not in her favor. This will be her first shot at becoming a world champion and she will be looking to make another “best” moment in her life. Araujo started boxing in 1998 to stay fit. Her coach told her she should start sparring. During this time she was told boxing was a man’s sport and ballet would be better suited for her. Renowned trainer Luiz Dorea convinced her otherwise. Dorea trained former World Boxing Association (WBA) & World Boxing Organization (WBO) Super-featherweight champion and WBO lightweight champion Acelino Freitas (41-2, 34KOs). Dorea is also known for training MMA stars Anderson Silva and Junior Dos Santos. When Dorea said she had what it takes to be a world champion Araujo stated, “I knew I had to take up boxing full time.”
When women were allowed to compete in the Olympics starting in 2012, Araujo jumped at the opportunity. She went on to win a bronze medal in those games. Unfortunately, her father and mother passed away in 2006 and 2008 respectively and were unable to share in the joy of their daughter’s moment. Araujo describes winning the bronze as, “the happiest moment of my life.” (AIBA) Although both of her parents were initially against her coming home with bumps and bruises because of boxing, she wished her parents were there to share her happiness. Araujo also competed in the 2016 games in Rio but did not medal. She did not leave those games without a medal moment as she was selected by the Brazilian Minister of Sport to be one of the first athletes to carry the 2016 Rio Olympic torch after its arrival in the capital Brasilia. She was 1 of 141 torchbearers. Fast-forward to 2020, another opportunity has presented itself. A world title opportunity.
Cameron and Araujo will meet center ring on Oct 4. The resilience and labor they have both fought through and defeated to get to this point will temporarily be a microcosm once they come face-to-face. Two proud warriors, one with Olympic glory, the other with gold perseverance. They both medal in this game of life.