Shane Cameron is adamant his trip to London will help rather than hinder his attempts to beat Monte Barrett, despite returning barely a week before the career-defining fight.
Cameron went back to the city where his boxing career began, having come a long way being a "young fulla" looking for his first fight. This trip to England entailed sparring with one of boxing's biggest names - former heavyweight champion David Haye.
Cameron fights American Monte Barrett at SkyCity casino next Thursday and chose to warm up for the bout by accepting an invitation from Haye's camp to prepare the Englishman for his grudge match against Dereck Chisora.
Since Haye has previously beaten Barrett - knocking him out in five rounds in 2008 - Cameron couldn't turn down the chance to pick the brain of the brash former champ.
Cameron said today (Thu), less than a day after arriving in New Zealand, he was passed no particular hints by Haye but the trip's benefits outweighed any potential drawbacks.
"The main reason I was there was to get the solid rounds and some good sparring and a bit of an insight," Cameron said. "You're always learning and I picked up a few more things to add to my resume in the ring.
"He didn't really give me tips as such - I think I had to make the tips up myself otherwise he would've flattened me."
According to Cameron, he was rarely on the receiving end of any 'Hayemakers' during the two-and-a-half weeks, and he denied Barrett's assertion yesterday that sparring partners were there to cop some punishment.
"[Barrett] must've gotten thumped all the time because I didn't get thumped. I do know what he's meaning, because a lot of sparring partners are used as cannon fodder. There were two other guys there that were used for cannon fodder, then there was me. They knew I had a fight coming up, so they let me do whatever I pleased."
Among the most pleasing aspects Cameron took from the 32 rounds in the ring was the state of his troublesome right hand.
"It's probably, surprisingly, the best it's been. It's always hindered me for the last five years. It comes and it goes and it's only been since I've been away that it's come right."
While a long haul flight a week before the main event was hardly ideal preparation, Cameron was confident he would be fighting fit come next Thursday. After a "massive sleep" yesterday, Cameron was readjusting to the timezone and he thought that process would be complete in another couple of days.
"It only took me a few days to get used to it in the UK so I presume it'll be the same back here," he said. "I think [jetlag's] all mental. If I think in my head that I'm going to be fine, I'm going to be fine."
He'll need to be because, as he was told by Haye, the 41-year-old Barrett must be conquered if Cameron is serious about making waves in the heavyweight division.
Cameron was well aware of that fact, certain the date with Haye only improved his chances.
"[Barrett's] a good victory on the card. That's what Haye said to me: 'these are the guys you need to be beating to move forward'. That's what I need to do and that's what I'm going to do.
"I was confident fighting Barrett before I left but I'm a lot more confident now. I'm not taking anything away from Barrett, he's a great fighter so I need to me on my game to get a nice convincing win."
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