Last night in Melbourne, Shane Cameron missed out on a big opportunity.
Danny Green showed just how much experience in big fights counts. He had a very obvious game plan – in simple terms, slow Cameron down at all costs. Tie him up, keep out of his range, frustrate the hell out of him. Simple, but incredibly effective.
On the other hand, Shane Cameron’s fight plan appeared to be missing in action. Just how Camp Cameron had worked out how to beat Green will never be known – if they even knew themselves. There was no discernible method to the madness, and quite why the Mountain Warrior looked so shocked at Danny Green’s tactics told you all you needed to know. Surely they would have realised that all the talk from Green about fighting on the outside was simply an attempt to pull the wool over the eyes?
At Sportsfreak, we’ve commented before about the managing of Shane Cameron. In short, we said years ago that World Tours of New Zealand would never cut it for a good, solid, honest boxer who could have done so much better for himself on the US circuit.
Things didn’t get any better for this fight – Danny Green’s camp dictated terms, and Ken Reinsfeld took the bait. Despite a weight limit of 90.7kg, Green knew that his best chance of beating Cameron was to ensure the New Zealander was forced to drop to an even lighter weight, and out further strain on his body. Take no notice that Cameron then allegedly put on 6.5kg in 24 hours. The damage at that stage had been done.
This type of demand is almost acceptable if the champion is calling the shots. But it was a vacant title.
Certainly, Cameron was not helped by referee Pat Russell, who allowed Green to throw plenty of shots after the bell, piling further frustrating on Cameron. But Green knew that when you get away with something like that, you keep going until the warnings arrive. The warnings never came.
It became apparent as early as Round Six that Cameron was going to have to pull something out of the bag to win this fight, and in fairness to Reinsfeld & Co they took that on board not long after, politely suggesting to their charge that he may want to pull finger.
Yet the power unleashed on Monte Barrett appeared to have been left in the sauna, and whilst Danny Green was on the end of a number of crisp jabs (and one very good upper cut), the knock out option looked as far away in Round 12 as it did in Round 1.
It must be said that it was a refreshing build up to the fight. A bullshit-free zone, where the American-style trash talk was nowhere to be seen. That’s not Cameron’s go, and the respect displayed between the two fighters before the bout made for more realistic viewing. Two fighters trying to out-do each other in the crap stakes makes for a cringe-worthy build up.
By no means is this loss a disaster for Cameron, but it certainly doesn’t further his career, and that’s a shame. He deserves better. So where to now? He’s proven that he’s not a natural Cruiserweight, but he’s not exactly a genuine heavyweight either. Unfortunately he seems to be caught in the middle of the two divisions (and no World Boxing – that’s not an invite to create yet another division).
Should he decide to hang up the gloves – and there has been nothing from the camp as yet to suggest that this is an option – Cameron deserves to be remembered as a genuine fighter, who showed a huge amount of ticker to come back from the disaster against David Tua.
One decent payday would be nice to end his career. Unfortunately, that ship probably sailed out of Melbourne last night.