Shane Cameron: Green's trying to starve me
Shane Cameron was as good as his word on 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's heroics in San Francisco 122 years ago.
"It's a long time between drinks for a Kiwi fighting for a world title," Cameron mused before the pre-match posturing closed down on the eve of tonight's IBO cruiserweight showdown with former champion Danny Green at Melbourne's Hisense Arena.
And the Gisborne-born, Auckland-based fighter was not even referencing Murphy's defeat of Northern Irishman Ike "Spider" Weir in February, 1890.
Cameron was reflecting on David Tua's failed tilt at Lennox Lewis's heavyweight crown in Las Vegas in 2000 when accepting the hopes of New Zealand's boxing fraternity rest on his well-defined shoulders.
"There's not a lot of fighters in New Zealand who 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 last night - a ploy by Green to delay his opponent's ability to add some bulk before the main event is scheduled to get under way 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 the Green camp's insistence of a second, after hours, weigh-in.
"He's trying to starve me a bit longer. That's all I can put it down to, otherwise we could cut it off here and be done with it. They want to squeeze a bit more out of me," Cameron said, as the scales were packed away at Crown Casino.
Cameron, who correctly predicted on Monday that he could drop the final 1.7kg required, took it on the chin though when asked if the double weigh-in tactic was, well, underhand.
"Yeah. It's not a science to work that one out, eh?"
It is not as straightforward to predict a winner in a highly anticipated trans-Tasman clash prefaced by mutual admiration.
Cameron is younger and will be physically bigger - though not by the 10kg Green claims - when they step into the ring.
The Kiwi's hunger is also undoubted as he eyes his first title, while the West Australian is also shadow boxing around the topic of retirement.
Green has been stopped in his last two losses 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. I'm possibly looking at the outcome of being unconscious. It's not a pleasant thought," he said.
Cameron would not interpret Green's fear as defeatist; he described it instead as the type of mind games he was not prepared to play.
Cameron reiterated his stance when addressing the media for the last time, declaring: "I feel good, I feel strong.
"I'm ready, I'm exactly where I want to be. I could not be more ready for anything in my life."
Green, who should be nimbler inside the ropes, given his light-heavyweight background, also showcased his self-belief with a short, sharp jab: "I'm going to belt the bloke . . . Let's see what you've got big boy."