Undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor isn’t so sure that female boxers should be participating in three-minute round bouts.
Ireland’s Taylor is scheduled to try and rectify the lone loss of her professional career later this month, on Nov. 25, when she takes on England’s Chantelle Cameron at the 3Arena in Dublin for Cameron’s 140-pound titles. Cameron, the undisputed champion of the junior welterweight division, won a majority decision over Taylor in their first fight that took place in May, also at 3Arena. That fight was a homecoming for Taylor, who had never fought in her homeland as a professional until that point.
In recent years there have been strong efforts to increase women’s boxing rounds from the official 10 two-minute rounds to 12 three-minute rounds, which is the standard for men’s title fights. Supporters, such as multi-division champion Amanda Serrano, say that the increased minutes will lead to more knockouts and hence, eventually, higher pay, on par with the men. Critics, such as the World Boxing Council’s Mauricio Sulaiman, insist that it would be a detriment to the health of women if female boxers were subjected to longer rounds.
Serrano was a part of history earlier last month as her fight with Danila Ramos was the first ever women’s unified championship fought under the same conditions—12 three-minute rounds—as the men.
Taylor, whose rematch with Cameron will be contested with the usual 10 two-minute rounds, sounded an air of skepticism toward the idea of longer rounds.
“I haven’t really got any preference either way,” Taylor told The Associated Press. “The two-minute rounds are a real fast pace. They say the three-minute rounds will cause more knockouts, but I don’t think that’s true.
“I don’t know if women’s boxing has the strength and depth to have three-minute rounds really. For me, I really don’t care whether it’s a two or three-minute round. I spar three-minute rounds all the time. There’s pros and cons to both really.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.