Talks that Katie Taylor wasn't the same great fighter after losing to Chantelle Cameron by majority decision six months ago, along with theories that she was in decline at the age of 37, were dealt a knockout blow by the Irishwoman's brilliant display on Saturday at a packed 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland.
Taylor's majority decision win over Cameron (98-92, 96-94 and 95-95) in the rematch to become the undisputed junior welterweight champion revealed she is far from finished in the sport, with more big nights to come.
When Taylor looks back on her career, avenging her only professional defeat to become undisputed champion in a second weight division (she is also the current lightweight undisputed champion) will perhaps be top of the list of best moments.
Taylor won gold at the 2012 Olympics, the first time women's boxing featured at the Olympic Games. Then she earned her first world title in 2017, defeating Delfine Persoon (twice) to become undisputed lightweight champion seemed like it could be a career high, but then Taylor defeated Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden in April 2022 in what has been described as the biggest women's boxing event in the sport's history.
Taylor's first encounter with Cameron was set up with the intention of it being a happy homecoming -- her first performance on home soil in seven years as a professional. After losing to the younger, bigger Cameron in the weight division above what she was accustomed to, Taylor needed to produce a performance levels above what she managed against the English fighter in May.
And she delivered the performance of her career when she needed it most. Despite all the doubts and pain she would have felt from her first professional loss, Taylor used the defeat as an opportunity to develop her craft and improve at her training base in Vernon, Connecticut.
The result was a vibrant performance, with Taylor's speed, timing and intelligence winning her some rounds before Cameron became more dangerous later on.
Taylor immediately called for the trilogy fight with Cameron, who welcomed the opportunity. There is no other fight nearly as big for Cameron, unless she moves up a weight class to fight the winner of IBF welterweight champion Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer, who meet on Jan. 20.
But Taylor has other options for the last chapter of her career. Taylor beat New York-based Puerto Rican Amanda Serrano (46-2-1, 30 KOs), 35, by split decision at Madison Square Garden in New York in April 2022, and would have the advantage of being the naturally bigger fighter in a rematch versus Serrano, who made a successful defense as undisputed featherweight champion against Danila Ramos last month.
Luring Serrano to Ireland might be tempting for Taylor's team, for a fight that would generate a larger international interest with arguably less risk for Taylor.