Shane Cameron: Who Is He?

By Eugene Carnachan - Shane Cameron is a 31 year old New Zealand based heavyweight with a 23 (KO 20) + lost 1 + drawn 0 = 24 record. Cameron has an upcoming bout with David Tua. Tua many would argue is the biggest puncher in the entire heavyweight boxing division; without a doubt he is the owner of the biggest left hook in the business and one of the better left hooks – in any era – of the boxing game full stop!

However this article isn’t about the punching merits of David Tua but about who Cameron is as a fighter. Foremost there is one thing about Cameron that cannot be denied.. In an epoch when fighters pick and choose who they fight while trying to protect their rankings Cameron is somewhat of an aberration. Cameron ranked 14th by the IBF and 7th by the WBO has campaigned vigorously over the last four years for a duel between two home grown heavyweights. Tua finally succumb to the needling and accepted the offer. Back when Cameron first started calling for the fight he was very much in the establishing part of his career and vocally it sounded good and impressed the hell out the public in both New Zealand and Australia. However Tua saw no stock in fighting the up and comer so dismissed Cameron as in inexperienced newcomer that wasn’t a credible opponent.

Cameron in 2005 was working his way through all the mid-range fighters in New Zealand and Australia and vicariously through calling Tua was trying to amplify his stock not only domestically but internationally; off the back of Tua's global credibility.

With Tua locked in litigation with his former managers Cameron set about upping the ante and his management team started importing heavies to test and develop his mettle. Roger Izonreti (an out and out brawl), Osborne Machimana were flown in as fight fodder. Cameron went to Australia to fight gatekeeper Bob Mirovic, Brazilian heavy Jucimar Francisco Hipolito was brought to New Zealand and Cameron duly disposed of both, as a fighter of his capability should have. None are household names but were all part and parcel of Cameron’s evolution into a top flight heavy. In this time Cameron too implanted himself as a crowd favourite with the New Zealand and Australian public. Why? When Cameron comes to a contest he comes to fight! To that there can be absolutely no question. Cameron’s skills as a boxer are quite simple in there genesis; he simply trains the house down and is uber aggressive. Cameron’s capacity to get in the gym and train hard would be the equal of any heavy currently going around. In fact the equal of any fighter going around. He turns up and puts sweat on the boards every time he laces up; and Cameron transfers that ethic to his fighting style. His swarming, high output, power punching style makes him great to watch and even in fights he is expected to win you get a fight simply because he is in there to fight and fight hard.

Cameron’s career took a turn when he fought Friday Ahununya who has only being stopped once in his career. In the early stages of the fight Cameron had his way with Ahununya but Ahununya a battled hardened journeyman weathered the storm, came out the other side, wore Cameron down and stopped him in the 11th round. Since then Cameron has had to rebuild his confidence and ranking and has had wins over four American heavyweights. Establishing himself in the top brass of the IBF and WBO.

In that time he too has had an operation on the skin above his brow in an attempt to stop the cutting which has blighted his career to this point.

Cameron’s skills as a fighter are solid without being spectacular at any one thing. That said he is the type of fighter that can overcome most things because of he is a beast where it matters- in the gym.

He is now the ranked fighter and Tua is the fighter looking to get back in the rankings and that is largely the reason Tua has accepted the overtures of Cameron and taken the fight.

Tua’s fighting style is well known; he walks forwards, takes plenty and throws bombs. Same as Cameron! So the math on that says this will be a slug out in a dug out.

Cameron if he played cautious would avoid Tua and try to preserve his rankings so that he can keep working his way into a title shot but Shane Cameron is not that type of fighter. He put the call out to Tua and Tua has accepted so now at stake for Cameron is his ranking and very future given should he lose Tua’s ranking stock goes up and Cameron’s goes south.

So that begs the question why has Cameron taken this fight! Simple as pie! He’s a fighter in every respect. Sugar Ray Leonard whose services have being enlisted by promoters Duco to help promote this fight described this fight as “two guys fighting over a street corner” and for Cameron that’s essentially what this is about; who is the best heavyweight in Australasia. It goes without saying Tua thinks he is.

Shane Cameron has to be commended for calling out and taking a fight against a feared slugger like Tua. Not many call Tua out to the ends that Cameron has. He has campaigned hard for it and got it. He could have come up with every excuse under the sun when Tua’s management team put out the feelers about accepting the fight and chose softer options in working toward meaningful fights that could culminate in a title shot. Cameron didn’t! Why? The simple fact of the matter is, is Shane Cameron wouldn’t know how to say no to a fight if his life depended on it…and rest assured folks! Tua V Cameron will be a fight!

Article posted on 04.09.2009

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