Cameron career pummelled down and out
OPINION: How quickly the path can switch in the sport of boxing - Shane Cameron found that out in just seven rounds on Saturday night.
Leading up to the Shane Cameron-Brian Minto fight on Saturday night in Auckland much of the talk had veered to the prospect of an all-Kiwi heavyweight showdown between Cameron and Joseph Parker some time next year.
Parker wanted the fight and promoters Duco Events were eager to get it across the line, knowing it would have pay-per-view appeal in New Zealand with the young pup taking on the old dog.
A $550,000 purse split in Cameron's favour had been offered but Cameron and his camp sat tight.
They suggested there were no benefits in taking on such a young fighter in his early days as a professional heavyweight.
Cameron said Parker needed to earn his stripes before getting to fight someone of his experience.
There was a feeling despite those comments that it would still happen next year but Cameron would try to eke out a couple more fights before a showdown with Parker went ahead.
However, in just seven rounds on Saturday night, Minto went about breaking down Cameron's worth and probably went as far as ending Cameron's career.
All of a sudden the Parker-Cameron stoush doesn't have the same appeal, with it being obvious that Cameron may have run his race in the boxing game.
I've never been one for suggesting when a sportsperson should or should not retire but I'll break that trend with Cameron - he needs to stop boxing.
He looked slow and a sitting target for an American journeyman whose fight style was obvious - but Cameron still had no answers.
Minto was always going to come forward and brawl like he did on Saturday night and Cameron simply stood there and took it before his corner realised he'd taken enough of a beating and retired their fighter after seven rounds.
When David Tua retired from boxing recently, he retired as a man you could hardly tell had taken a punch, but Cameron isn't in the same boat.
His face and hands are a mangled mess and enough is enough. Even if he wanted to fight again, it's hard to think who he could get as an opponent.
Make no mistakes, Parker would destroy 36-year-old Cameron if he wanted to go down that path for a quick buck.
Credit does need to be dished out where it's due, in that Cameron has probably got the best out of his limited talents and has worked hard to make a career out of the sport.
He has also done wonders, along with others, in lifting the profile of the sport of boxing in New Zealand on the promotional front.
He is a good Kiwi bloke who probably got sucked in to saying awkward things in the leadup to the David Tua fight in 2009, which tainted that image with the wider public.
It is time to step aside and let the spotlight shine on New Zealand's rising talent, Parker in particular.
What has, however, come from the Cameron-Minto fight on Saturday is that we will see Minto back fighting in New Zealand.
He is likely to fight on the undercard to the Parker-George Arias bout in March and then could be lined up to fight Parker in, say, June or July.
- © Fairfax NZ News