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Hernandez aims to topple Cameron and Taylor

Veteran Melissa Hernandez aims to upset the best laid plans of Chantelle Cameron by defeating the WBC 140lbs champion and taking her place in the queue to face Irish star Katie Taylor.

Miami-based Puerto Rican Hernandez, who turns 41 today, was a former WBC featherweight champion who originally retired in 2016 due to her frustration over the smaller purses on offer in the women’s game compared to their male counterparts. 

She was tempted back in 2019 where she trumped the unbeaten Selina Barrios and now faces Cameron (13-0, 7 KOs) on a Matchroom promotion on March 20, with women’s boxing reaching new heights of popularity and pay.

Cameron, 29, has been in hot pursuit of undisputed lightweight champion Taylor in recent years, but Hernandez feels she can seize the Northampton woman’s WBC crown and that potential opportunity.

“They will pay me very well, so I encouraged myself to get back in the ring. I will fight for glory, for winning what I have dreamed of and to defend the right to equality in the salaries of boxers. I retired because I was paid crumbs,” Hernandez (23-7-3, 7 KOs) told journalist George Ebro.

“I’m confident I’ll beat her. She’s tall, she fights hard, she moves well and she throws her punches very fast, but I’m 20 years old in that sport, I have the experience and I’m going to box her. It’s a big challenge for me, let’s see what I can do with it.

“The goal is to face undisputed champion Katie Taylor. That’s where I’m going to make a lot of money. In London I have to do a 10-day quarantine and, for my part, I [will] take good care of myself because the pandemic has already ruined a great opportunity for me.

“I was going to fight at Madison Square Garden in New York last June, but because of Covid-19 the event was cancelled. Right now I’m focused – and taking care of myself – for my engagement in seven weeks. I’m going to fight two more years at the highest level. I want to challenge Katie, beat her, collect a good purse and then retire.”