Martial arts fans tend to call for retirement when a great fighter loses, especially if the fighter is over 30 (fans forget how many thousands of journeymen there are around the world, many of them are over 30, he continues fighting after dozens of defeats, with no calls to retire from the sport).
Really, in the minds of some fans, one failure can mean the end. Example, Katie Taylor. Taylor, the undisputed lightweight champion of the world, lost a week ago to Chantelle Cameron in a huge, historic fight that Taylor, already a star and future Hall of Famer, had no way of taking. Taylor, as the saying goes, dared to be great at lifting weight to fight the 140-pound ruler. Taylor lost her bid to become the undisputed champion in two weight classes, but the fight will be repeated later this year. Still, Taylor heard these calls for retirement, even if she didn’t listen 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 right now is the rematch with Chantelle Cameron. We’re looking at a November date. That (resignation) will happen some day in the future, but right now my focus is on securing a rematch with Chantelle. I’m fighting fight after fight and year after year, but I’m not going to end my career like this right now. I’m excited to come back to America and start training for the rematch. There are definitely many things I would do differently. I’ll learn it.”
For that, for behaving like a true champion, Taylor is to be commended. At 36 years old and with a record of 22-1(6), why would Taylor be thinking of retiring? One failure and it’s over? That’s not Taylor’s style. We should all be grateful to have a fighter like Taylor around today who is willing to fight the best and try to achieve everything he can in the ring. And how will people’s opinions change if Taylor gets his revenge on Cameron, 18-0(8) later this year. These calls for retirement will be silenced, just like that.
But can Taylor win the rematch? Was Cameron just too big for Taylor? There is some possibility that the rematch could be up to 135lbs, which would suit Taylor. But even then, can Taylor do it? He will try, because that’s what true masters do. And it’s possible the rematch will be bigger and better than the first Cameron-Taylor fight.
Let’s not write off Katie Taylor just yet.