As far as weird British boxing stories go, Amir Khan’s failed drug test got overshadowed remarkably quickly. Ellie Scotney revealed yesterday that her IBF title shot against Cherneka Johnson has been removed from Matchroom’s May 20th Katie Taylor vs Chantelle Cameron show at Cameron’s request.
Per Scotney (6-0, 0 KO), the issue revolves around trainer Shane McGuigan, who previously worked with Cameron until 2019. She points out that she and Cameron (17-0, 8 KO) have twice shared a card “with no problems whatsoever.”
Cameron released her own statement this morning in response to what she calls a “witch hunt,” claiming that the move was necessary for her mental health. She cites what sounds like severe trauma from her time working with the McGuigans, which she can’t elaborate on due to a “forced” NDA, and that those two cards she shared with Scotney were extremely difficult ordeals.
I am neither privy nor entitled to the details, and I’m not going to minimize what Cameron’s going through. Trauma is a bastard that can weigh on you for your entire life; working to mitigate its effects is not a sign of weakness. I do, however, have to question the timing of Cameron’s objection. This is something that should have been addressed before Scotney’s fight was ever signed. Whatever you think of Scotney’s association with the McGuigans, it’s deeply unfair to both her and Johnson to give them the biggest opportunity of their lives and then take it away.
Eddie Hearn claims that he’ll stage Scotney vs Johnson “a couple of weeks later,” but there’s a huge difference between featuring on the biggest women’s card of the year and fighting on something like the Lara vs Wood 2 undercard.
The merits of Cameron’s decision notwithstanding, I think we can agree the execution was badly bungled.