Summit talks for Shane Cameron
A world title would have worked wonders but the Shane Cameron camp believe their fighter is still highly marketable despite his latest loss.
Team Cameron are still digesting the unanimous points loss to Danny Green in Melbourne that saw the Aussie pick up his fourth world title - the vacant IBO cruiserweight belt.
But they only see respect and positives coming out of the fight as they move forward.
"At the end of the day Shane has just gone the distance with a bloke who has beaten up a lot of people. There's no disgrace in this loss. This performance counts for plenty as we look to where we go from here," Cameron's manager Ken Reinsfeld said.
He believed that coming on top of his devastating knockout of heavyweight Monte Barrett earlier in the year, Cameron could look back on 2012 with plenty of pride.
Reinsfeld wants Cameron back in the ring early next year. They will have to wait a couple of months while his cut forehead heals but there is also the need for some down time after such an intensive camp for the Green fight, which involved dropping around 9kg.
Cameron admits he has a personal preference to push on as a heavyweight but Reinsfeld is adamant he also has massive potential as a cruiserweight.
"Shane has just proven how competitive he is as a cruiserweight with this latest fight.
"I think he can fight as a heavyweight or a cruiserweight . . . but not as a catch-weight fighter," Reinsfeld added, hitting out at the extra kilograms Green made Cameron lose to reach the 89kg fight agreement.
"It's a matter of taking stock. Shane is lucky that he can fight as either and it might be a matter of which division has the best opportunities for us. Wherever the options are, that's where we will go."
Reinsfeld said with Green's future uncertain there might still be the chance of another crack at the IBO belt if he retires and vacates it.
"That might be a possibility given the good showing," he said.
At 35 and after a decade of pro fighting that sees him with 29 wins from 32 fights, Cameron is adamant he wants to stay in the game.
"I still have the desire, that's for sure," Cameron said.
"I'll take a break through to Christmas. We've got to look at where we go from here . . . but the desire is still there to get a world title. I've got the age and experience to push on further."
Reinsfeld wants to see Cameron continue to fight in New Zealand, where he has established a strong market and there is an increasing demand for quality boxing.
"Kiwis love a fighter, someone that doesn't give up. That's what we are about as a nation and Shane Cameron typifies that.
"You could see that in this latest fight. Shane didn't fight to survive; he was looking for a chance to win the whole fight. I know that speaking to the Green team after the fight, their man was worried right up till the last bell that Shane would catch him with that one punch to end it all.
"That didn't happen but, as I said, there was no disgrace in this performance.
"Shane is disappointed . . . he feels like he has let New Zealand down.
"But that just shows how honest and refreshing he is . . . he's just so bloody genuine."
And the honesty from the Cameron camp included acknowledging that they were outsmarted by the wily Green. The 39-year-old and his trainers came up with a cunning plan. They raised the possibility of depowering Cameron with the weight restrictions and then Green engineered a close-range tangle in the ring that slowly drained Cameron.
All the time the quick-fisted Green was picking up enough points with his jab and short shots to build up a lead that could only be denied by knockout.
But Green was too clever to stray into the "Monte Barrett range" and dominated the final few rounds with his in-the-face aggression to close out the victory.