Shane Cameron inspired by childhood hero

LIAM NAPIER
Last updated 11:00 23/09/2012
Shane Cameron
PETER MEECHAM / Fairfax NZ
INSPIRATION: Shane Cameron.

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Inspiration comes from many sources. It's different for every person.

For Shane Cameron, his motivation is derived from one man close to his heart.

He is driven to defeat former three-time Australian cruiserweight champion Danny Green, and claim the IBO world title, in Melbourne on November 21, by the memory of his late grandfather, Robert.

Back in the 1930s, Robert was a boxer in Wellington. Cameron grew up wanting to emulate his childhood hero.

He has vivid memories of watching Pops work the ring; bob, weave, jab and hook his unsuspecting opponents. That's where it all began; the burning desire to pull on the gloves.

“My grandfather was the man who inspired me to get into boxing, not that he realised,” Cameron said.

“I always loved listening to his boxing stories when I was a young boy.

“He passed away at the good age of 93. He saw a few of my fights. He was around for the first couple of years of my pro career.

"He is the main man who has always inspired me. I want to pull this off as a tribute to him. I want to do it for him, my family and friends; all the people who have been there for me; stuck by me through thick and thin. I want to pay them back for all their support.”

Some may find it surprising that Cameron has endured only two losses in his 33-fight career.

He's never had a smooth ride. There have always been critics.

“In some ways I felt I've earned it,” Cameron said. “I'd have my ups and downs. It means a lot. All the hard work has paid off.”

Cameron took up the sport of boxing late. He grew up on a farm in the small Gisborne town of Tiniroto and did not have access to a gym until he moved overseas.

“I never had the opportunity to box until I went to the UK, that's where it all started. I had my first fight when I was 20 years old. It's amazing, really. No-one ever thought I would get here, to this point, on the cusp of a world title.

"I always thought I started too old. It just shows you, work hard and you get results.”

Cameron hasn't ruled out a return to the heavyweight division, but the prospect of a title fight was tantalising.

Despite his stunning fourth-round knockout of Monte Barrett, Cameron doesn't expect to have wide-spread support, either. That would be a foreign concept.

“I campaigned my last fight at heavyweight. A lot of people didn't think I could do it but I did the damage against Barrett.

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“I still love the heavyweight division. I feel more comfortable there, but I can drop the weight. I've done it before.

“I've never lost to an Aussie and I don't intend to start. As an amateur I never lost to an Australian and as a pro I've fought six and four of them were former Australian champions. I knocked most of them out. I'll do my best to continue that.”

- Sunday News

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