Danny Green got steamed up and Shane Cameron was planning a hot bath as the mercury finally rose ahead of a trans-Tasman IBO cruiserweight world title fight notable for a build-up free of animosity and petty points scoring.
Green and Cameron reaffirmed their mutual respect in Melbourne yesterday and the fighters' attitudes had not changed since last month's get together in Auckland, although the Australian did take umbrage when accused of landing a virtual low blow.
Green, 39, would only agree to tomorrow's battle for the belt relinquished by drug cheat Antonio Tarver if Cameron tipped the scales at 89kg or less at today's official weigh-in - 1.7kg lighter than the minimum weight specified for the cruiserweight division.
Cameron, a natural heavyweight, has had to shed more than 8kg to meet Green's demand.
He had reached the usual 90.7kg benchmark yesterday morning and would soak in his hotel room bath to drop the remainder before stripping down.
Although the ploy is designed to reduce Cameron's punching power, Green argued he was still at a massive disadvantage come fight night at Hisense Arena.
Green, who is bidding to become the first Australian to win four world titles before he retires, said he wanted Cameron to be even lighter.
"It's a catch weight, it's been going on for ever," he bristled when his sportsmanship was queried.
"Sugar Ray Leonard did it against Donny Lalonde and Tommy Hearns . . . Manny Pacquiao's been fighting catch weight against the greatest fighters of the modern era.
"When I fought Roy Jones Junior I had to get down to 81.5. I wanted the opportunity to fight a big fish, Shane wants that opportunity to fight a big fish so he has to do what's required in the contract.
"I'm the one putting my balls on the line fighting a heavyweight. I'm fighting a guy that'll be 10kg heavier than me when the bell goes.
"I'm just trying to square the advantage that he's got as a bigger, stronger man. I would have made it 86kg if I could have."
Green and Cameron sat side by side at the top table and although the Kiwi was trimmer than usual he still carried a greater presence - and not a chip of his shoulder despite his opponent's accusation of whining from the Kiwis.
"I'll make ‘Danny weight' no problem at all. I'm lucky I'm a good sweater, I'll sweat the other two kilos out in a hot bath," said Cameron, who hopes to become New Zealand's first professional boxing world champion since "Torpedo" Billy Murphy won the world featherweight title in 1890.
"I could have stuck my toes in more but I wouldn't have got the world title fight. We had to give and take," he said.
Cameron said he last fought at 89kg when winning bronze at the Manchester Commonwealth Games a decade ago and credited his first ever use of a dietician for making sure his weight loss programme went to plan.
"All the hard work's been done. It's just a matter of fine tuning everything and getting my head right," he said.
"In my eyes I know what's going to happen, that's all that matters to me."
- © Fairfax NZ News