Shane Cameron was as good as his word regarding weight loss, now it is time for his fists to do the talking as he aims to become the first New Zealand-born winner of a world title fight since featherweight "Torpedo" Billy Murphy 122 years ago.
"It's a long time between drinks for a Kiwi fighting for a world title," Cameron said, before the pre- match posturing ended on the eve of tonight's IBO cruiserweight showdown with former champion Danny Green in Melbourne.
The Gisborne-born, Auckland- based fighter was not referencing Murphy's defeat of Northern Irishman Ike "Spider" Weir in February 1890, but rather reflecting on David Tua's failed tilt at Lennox Lewis' heavyweight crown in Las Vegas in 2000.
"There are not a lot of fighters in New Zealand that reach the level I'm at. I'm the only one there they're banking on. That's good, I love the pressure," the 35-year-old said before satisfying the Australian's 89kg weight criteria at a public weigh-in.
Cameron also had to post an official weight about six hours later at his hotel - a ploy by Green to delay his opponent's ability to add bulk before the main event was scheduled to start about 11pm (NZ time).
A heavyweight by design, Cameron had no qualms about shedding 8kg when dropping down a division for his first world title fight, and was also relaxed at the Green camp's insistence of a second, after-hours, weigh-in.
"He's trying to starve me a bit longer," Cameron said.
"That's all I can put it down to; otherwise we could cut it off here and be done with it," he said.
Cameron took it on the chin when asked if the double weigh-in tactic was underhand.
"Yeah. It's not a science to work that one out, eh?"
However, it is not as straightforward to predict a winner.
Cameron is younger and bigger, though not by the 10kg Green claims.
The Kiwi's hunger is also undoubted as he eyes his first title while the Western Australian is shadow boxing around retirement.
Green, who has been stopped in his past two defeats by Antonio Tarver and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, referred to his "old and weary bones" during the pre-fight press conference and was coy about his future - win, lose or draw.
"I'm just focusing on being victorious against Shane Cameron," Green said.
"I'm possibly looking at the outcome of being unconscious.
"It's not a pleasant thought," the Australian said.
Cameron would not interpret Green's fear as defeatist, describing it as the type of mind games he was not prepared to play.
"He's been talking like that," Cameron said.
"He keeps talking me up and talking himself down.
"It must be how he likes to build himself up." Fairfax NZ
- © Fairfax NZ News
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