Shane Cameron: I will fight Parker tomorrow
Put your money where your mouth is.
That's the message from a riled Shane Cameron to Joseph Parker's management.
Last week the Sunday Star-Times revealed Parker's promoters, Duco Events, offered a $550,000 "winner take all" purse - the largest payday in New Zealand boxing history - to stage a Cameron-Parker match up over eight rounds this year.
Cameron initially felt the 21-year-old Parker wasn't ready to make the significant jump just six fights into his pro career.
But after pondering the substantial offer, Cameron is challenging Duco to drop the winner take all caveat.
"I don't play those games. I'm a seasoned pro. I'm not interested in that winner takes all. If they want to pay that money they pay it to me directly," Cameron told the Star-Times. "The Duco boys obviously want a quick return on their investment to be looking at chucking Joseph Parker in the deep end with myself.
"It's not going to be an easy fight for him. If that's what they're looking at doing then they don't have Joseph's best interests at heart. But if they want to do it they can pay me that money and pay Joseph whatever he's worth.
"Dean [Lonergan] is shooting his big mouth off, why don't we get it on tomorrow over 12 rounds?"
Twice previously Cameron banked comparable paydays. He pocketed $500,000 for the "Fight of the Century" with David Tua in 2009 and earned more in his last fight, the cruiserweight world title loss to Danny Green last year.
"I believe I'm worth that. I've got that money before and I can get it again," Cameron said. "I don't need to lower myself to try and make it easy. It's a fight I don't really need but if they want to pay the money I'm here, I'm fit. I can go anytime.
"There's a lot of hard work that goes into professional boxing. In takes many, many years to build someone's career up. It took me a long time to get the big money fights.
"Joseph is a good fighter. He's the next prospect coming through New Zealand boxing.
"In another five years he's going to be a tremendous fighter but those sorts of things take time."
Parker hasn't been past six rounds in his budding pro career. Duco promoter David Higgins indicated he was not willing to pay Cameron $550,000 outright and felt Parker was not ready to fight 12 rounds.
"We will absolutely take the fight with Shane at 12 rounds but Joseph will have three or four more fights this year. He will be on track to be a 12 round fighter early next year," Higgins said. "The winner take all idea was a mark of our confidence in Joseph's ability to do the business against Shane.
"There's no way Shane is worth $550,000 on his own. He was paid an extortionately high $500,000 to fight David Tua. That was just circumstances.
"He's coming off a loss. He hasn't fought in a long time [seven months]. He's being a bit greedy to suggest he's worth that sort of figure on his own.
"If they wanted to split the money between them we would entertain it. Why don't Shane and [manager] Ken [Reinsfield] put up $550,000 and we'll do the same."
Reinsfield rebuffed that suggestion and claimed Duco were now backtracking.
"Dean Lonergan and David Higgins have both said Joseph would knock Shane out and end his career - 12 rounds doesn't make any difference," he said.
"We're not the ones that come out with the bold statements. Now that we've replied to their call out they are coming up with excuses.
"Last week Joseph was going to knock out Shane, this week he's not ready. The difference here is Shane and I are on the same page."
Higgins replied with one final jibe.
"Ken has a knack for injecting acrimony into any negations," he said.
Realistically it seems a Cameron-Parker fight won't happen until early next year but momentum is, clearly, building.