|Venue of events: The O2, London Date: Saturday, May 21|
|Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 Live from 22:00 BST and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app from 21:00 BST.|
Chantelle Cameron is ready to take her “frustrations” out on Victoria Bustos in her world title defense on Saturday night in London.
The 31-year-old Briton hasn’t boxed since October when he beat mary mcgee from the USA to become the unified WBC, IBF and Ring magazine light welterweight champion.
It was a surefire performance that set up a possible uncontested fight with another American, WBA and WBO belt holder Kali Reis. But the Reis fight has since fizzled out and Bustos was drafted as a provisional opponent for Cameron on the undercard of Joshua Buatsi’s domestic clash with Craig Richards at the O2 Arena this weekend.
“I just went off the radar,” says Cameron.
“I had my fight in October, the momentum was there. Kali had her fight, people were excited for that fight and then they pulled the rug out on me and I disappeared.
“I tried really hard to stay positive and keep going, but it was really hard. I had no idea what was going on and I was getting no answers.”
Cameron, who is unbeaten in 15 fights, has harbored thoughts of walking away from boxing earlier in his career but has found a new life under Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom promotion.
Her hopes were through the roof when she signed a tournament contract with Reis and the pair’s rivals McGee and Jessica Camara that would culminate in an undisputed fight. But with Reis unavailable to fight after her victory over Camara, Cameron says he was left in no man’s land, as he hoped to fight her in early 2022.
“I’ve had a bit of a tough time,” she says.
“I had a little problem before when I changed gyms, when I was going to walk away from boxing. But this is the first time I lost my drive and felt ‘this is a bunch of crap, boxing sucks’. It was a mental battle.
“When you’re not boxing, it’s costing you money. If you’re not boxing, you’re not going to get sponsors. I need to be there and my promotion talking about me, otherwise you go under the radar and that’s what happens.” it costs you and puts your career on hold”.
Will the undisputed fight take place?
Argentina’s Bustos, 33, has 22 wins and six losses on her record. She has fought in multiple world title fights, losing to Katie Taylor at lightweight and Cecilia Braekhus at welterweight.
Despite her pedigree, she is not the opponent Cameron wanted. Her focus remains on securing the undisputed championship, but she admits she’s not sure if the fight with Reis will happen this year.
With Taylor and Amanda Serrano elevating women’s boxing to new heights and Claressa Shields v Savannah Marshall later this year, Cameron is desperate to get back on the wave of women’s boxing.
“I’d love to say yes, the Kali fight will happen, but the last few months I’ve had, I’m not even going to worry if it doesn’t happen,” says the Northampton fighter.
“I’m not going to put all my eggs in that basket because it’s been too taxing mentally. If it happens, great, but if it doesn’t, I won’t be surprised.”
As for Bustos, Cameron is eager to put the past six months behind her with a big performance.
“I don’t want to be wild, but I’m definitely looking forward to fighting someone and putting a dent or two in them,” he adds.