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Katie Taylor To Be Stripped Of 135 Titles?

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DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Katie Taylor looks dejected following defeat to Chantelle Cameron during the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC and WBO World Super Lightweight Title fight between Katie Taylor and Chantelle Cameron at The 3Arena Dublin on May 20, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

Katie Taylor appears to be the latest boxer subjected to different rules, as her tenure as a lightweight champion has gone without defense for nearly a year. However, her reign as the undisputed lightweight champion might come to an end before her upcoming match against Chantelle Cameron on November 25, where Cameron’s titles at 140 lbs will be on the line.

Katie Taylor’s (22-1, 6 KO’s) last fight at 135 lbs took place on October 29, 2022. She is nearing the required period set by sanctioning bodies for defending her titles. While each sanctioning body has varying timeframes for title defenses, not defending a title for over a year is generally seen as a rule violation, potentially leading to title stripping.

As it stands, this means Katie Taylor has less than two months to defend her lightweight titles. However, this seems unlikely given her scheduled match with Chantelle Cameron (18-0, 8 KO’s) in November.

The most practical way for a fighter to avoid title stripping is to defend their titles. While fighters can sometimes move between weight classes, such moves usually lead to a mandate for the fighter to face a mandatory challenger.

In Taylor’s case, Mikaela Mayer (18-1, 5 KO’s) is already the mandatory challenger in the lightweight division due to her status as the WBC interim lightweight champion as of April 15th. After Taylor’s fight with Cameron, she would likely need to face Mayer to retain her WBC title.

While Taylor’s decision to rematch Chantelle Cameron is understandable, it could jeopardize her undisputed status at 135 lbs if other sanctioning bodies set their own mandates at lightweight.

Fortunately, sanctioning bodies often tolerate major matches involving undisputed fighters, like Taylor and Cameron, which involve multiple world titles and determine the super lightweight champion.

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DUBLIN, IRELAND – MAY 20: Katie Taylor is punched by Chantelle Cameron during the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC and WBO World Super Lightweight Title fight between Katie Taylor and Chantelle Cameron at The 3Arena Dublin on May 20, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

Although Taylor is fighting twice at a weight where she’s not a champion — the second time being questionable due to rules against moving between weights without vacating titles — the excitement generated by these matchups between undisputed fighters may have influenced sanctioning bodies’ leniency.

It’s unclear what will happen if Katie Taylor wins her match against Cameron. Since the fight is at 140 lbs, sanctioning bodies might have more reason to strip Taylor of her 135 lbs titles, as holding titles in two different weight classes simultaneously is typically not allowed. Ironically, if Taylor loses to Cameron, she might avoid such complications and continue to hold her titles at 135 lbs by fulfilling her mandatory obligations.

Hopefully, Katie Taylor remains active in the lightweight division against deserving mandatory opponents, regardless of her foray into super lightweight. As one of boxing’s longest reigning undisputed champions, Taylor’s impact on female boxing is significant, particularly in the lightweight division which has reached unprecedented heights.

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