Shane Cameron defies odds with Barrett KO
Cameron lands fourth round KOLIAM NAPIER
Was the 'Godfather of all Fight Nights' good for boxing?
Two bottles of champagne were whisked into Shane Cameron's dressing room after he stunned Monte Barrett with a thundering fourth-round knockout to rejuvenate his heavyweight career in Auckland.
With a huge overhand right hook just 18 seconds into the fourth round, Cameron reclaimed the WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental belts in devastating fashion to shock most predictions.
Cameron's power has long been questioned, but with Barrett needing to be helped to his feet more than a minute after being floored, those jibes are sure to cease.
The 41-year-old Barrett didn't see Cameron's shot coming and, after trash-talking his way through the build-up, the American was, for once, short of words.
"It was an amazing victory. I'd like to thank everyone who turned up here tonight to support me. It was an amazing feeling coming out and the ending was spectacular," Cameron said.
"I said I was going to get these belts back and I did."
Barrett, who strode to the ring looking like Santa Claus, meanwhile, is now seemingly set for retirement.
"Shane was prepared for the fight. He fought a good fight and my hat goes off to him and his team," Barrett said after recovering from the brutal punch.
"It was one of those shots that you don't see coming."
Cameron's two-and-a-half week training camp with former British champion David Haye in London clearly paid dividends.
Barrett is considered the gateway to bigger heavyweight clashes and Cameron will now look to capitalise on this remarkable underdog triumph.
The 34-year-old Kiwi had spoken of gaining redemption after his dramatic second-round defeat to David Tua nearly three years ago. This was the defining fight of his career and he more than delivered.
In the tentative opening round, Barrett was content to let the challenger come to him. The American took that first round with two strong overhead right hooks, as Cameron attempted to work the jab and move.
Barrett twice made head-butt claims in the second round, but Cameron found his feet and shook off the initial nerves to hit the mark with strong right-hand hooks.
Both fighters landed heavy shots in the third. Cameron's home-crowd rose to their feet thinking, on initial glance, he had secured a knockdown but it turned out Cameron had pushed the title holder down.
Few expected Cameron to stop this fight early. But with one punch the Commonwealth Cruiserweight champion defied the odds, declared he will not freeze on the big stage, can step up in class and ignited Kiwi boxing once more.
Meanwhile, in his professional debut, Joseph Parker fulfilled his promise to make a statement.
Parker's impressive second-round TKO over Huntly school teacher Dean Garmonsway, which took just over four minutes, hinted at a bright future and confirmed his potential as New Zealand's next heavyweight prospect.
Having dropping 12kg in the last four weeks, Parker lived up to the hype and guarantee he would lift his standards after failing to qualify for the Olympic Games.
Garmonsway, with three previous professional fights, which included a loss to Clarence Tillman, took some heavy hits and was bleeding from the mouth after the opening exchanges. But with just under two minutes remaining in the second of six scheduled rounds, Parker's class was evident.
The 20-year-old let fly with a lethal combination that opened the door for another step forward in what should be a promising career in the pro ranks.
Jesse Ryder also produced a dominant victory, handing Mark Watson a predictably embarrassing first-round knockout, inside two minutes.
Using his 10kg weight advantage, the New Zealand cricketer and crowd favourite had Watson in trouble from the opening bell.
Watson, the outspoken radio talkback host, was knocked down after 20 seconds and never recovered. He then received a standing count and the TKO was delivered after Watson copped several powerful right hooks and stumbled towards the canvas.
"I just tried to go at him. What a rush. I trained pretty hard. It's good it's all over I can now get on with my life," Ryder, who produced a solid left jab and used him proclaimed.
Watson will struggle to live this down. "It was pretty ugly," he said.
The fight between Jaime Ridge and Rosanna Arkle turned out to be a brutal, entertaining brawl where haymakers replaced the need for make-up.
Models Ridge and Arkle defied predictions and criticism to knock the glamour out of each other for six minutes over three rounds.
By the end, hair was frazzled, sweat dripped off their faces and neither wanted to pose for the cameras in the blemished states. This was a far cry from the cushy television lifestyle.
It was clear Ridge had trained with former boxer and Warriors hard-man Monty Betham. She was better prepared. The daughter of former All Blacks and league star Mathew Ridge, Jaime landed some surprisingly lusty right hooks which secured her the unanimous points decision.
"I definitely underestimated her and she's got it," the defeated Arkle said.
Arkle, fighting in a blue sports bra and wearing breast protection, made Ridge wait for the opening bell. The star of reality television show The GC blew kisses to her cast members as her bellybutton piercing was adjusted before the clash got underway.
The pair then went toe-to-toe. Arkle came out swinging early, but, ultimately, she ran out of puff. Fitness was not the finest asset.
Both women were left gasping for air with defence a secondary option.
Ridge dominated from start to finish and deserved her victory. Her father would be proud.
Earlier, heavyweights Solomon Haumono and Joey Wilson fought out a brutal eight-round draw. West Auckland middleweight Isaac Peach stopped James Uoka in the fourth and final round.
Light-heavyweight contender Daniel MacKinnon scored his 20th victory, a TKO over out-of-shape Faimasasa Tavui after the Samoan's corner at the end of the first round.
- © Fairfax NZ News