Green, Cameron fight all above the belt

CHRIS BARCLAY IN MELBOURNE
Last updated 07:05 20/11/2012
Shane Cameron
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RESPECT: "These other peanuts make us all look like clowns," said Green, who insists he has nothing but respect for Shane Cameron.

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Even the inevitable sheep reference could hardly be considered below the belt - the Anzac spirit was evident even if Danny Green and Shane Cameron are about to go to war rather than fight alongside each other in the trenches.

Green and Cameron provided further evidence tomorrow night's clash for the vacant IBO cruiserweight belt might just be a bout for the purists - an example of boxing's basest elements, or as the Australian describes their tussle for the vacant IBO cruiserweight world title belt: "This is old school, throw back fighters."

There were no histrionics, no cheap shots, hardly any playing up for the cameras at Melbourne's Crown Casino when Green and Cameron front a media conference in a venue aptly named "The Common Room."

The 39-year-old three-time world champion and New Zealand's pretender to the throne are cut from the same cloth despite usually operating in disparate weight divisions.

Antonio Tarver's positive drugs test put the duo on a collision course which culminates at Hisense Arena tomorrow night, a multisport venue where boxing is the main event ahead of tennis, netball and track cycling.

Green and Cameron were convivial when they first stared down in Auckland a month ago and although the tension is undeniably rising, the friendly rivalry continued heading into today's weigh-in.

While Anthony Mundine was up to his usual tricks disparaging fellow indigenous Australian Daniel Geale last week ahead of their IBF middleweight world title fight in Sydney on January 30, Green and Cameron pulled plenty of punches.

Green, who got a laugh when he regretted not providing sheepskin-lined Ugg boots for the Kiwis to feel at home, turned serious when insisting he had nothing but respect for his adversary.

"Why wouldn't there be? One hundred per cent. These other peanuts make us all look like clowns," he said, labelling Mundine's latest rant as "bulls..t".

"Choc (Mundine) is washed up, they're trying to sell something that isn't real," he said.

"They should be fined, there should be a boxing council to fine them for bringing the sport into disrepute by being so ridiculous and outlandish."

Mundine, who previously questioned Geale's Aboriginal heritage, monopolised the confirmation of their second fight by claiming physical and mental superiority on the strength of winning their original bout.

In contrast Green and Cameron were content to share the limelight as their mutual admiration society reconvened.

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"I've got nothing disrespectful to say about the (Cameron) team, about the boys, about New Zealand at all. My plan is to go out there and try and destroy Shane Cameron, he's got the same plan in mind and that's why I respect the bloke.

"His job is to win and he'll do everything possible to win that fight. I respect that. I don't have to sit here and belittle the guy and belittle his team or anything disrespectful to try and make a dollar."

"This is a genuine fight," added Cameron's manager Ken Reinsfield, perhaps mindful of the farcical contest between promising New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker and his super-sized, 167kg opponent Terry Tuteru in Auckland earlier this month.

"The reason Shane has trained so hard for this fight is out of respect for Dan. We know what he brings, we've been on his card, we know how he fights," Reinsfield said.

Cameron has to tip the scales at 89kg or less today - a weight restriction Green imposed because as "a micro cruiserweight" he is disadvantaged by taking on a reconfigured heavyweight.

Green's stipulation is 1.7kg lighter than the standard cruiserweight minimum and he made no apology.

"I'm the one putting my balls on the line. I'm fighting a guy that'll be 10kg heavier than me when the bell goes. I'm just trying to square up the advantage that he's got as a bigger, stronger man."

Cameron had already dropped the bulk of the 8kg he had to shed and thought 40 minutes in a hot bath would complete the process.

"I'll sweat in the bath, jump on the scales, make the weight and put it (water) back in the gullet," he smiled before estimating his actual fighting weight at 94kg.

- Stuff

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