Shane Cameron wanted Danny Green to stand in front of him and trade punches in Melbourne last night.
Green didn't oblige, the rugged Australian instead climbing all over Cameron to squeeze the life out of Cameron's IBO world title dream with a unanimous points victory.
Green may have opted to fight in the largest ring permitted but he might not have bothered.
The majority of the fight could have occurred in the proverbial phone booth, with Green intent on leaning on Cameron, tying him up and hitting on the break.
It made for an ugly, at times spiteful contest, with referee Pat Russell not covering himself in glory as he allowed Green to consistently get away with hitting on the break.
Cameron will have been dismayed by the 119-109, 116-112, 116-113 scorecards but in truth he didn't do enough to claim the vacant title on Green's territory.
Cameron landed the cleaner and harder punches throughout the bulk of first nine rounds, however by the last three Green's tactics had worn on the slimmed down Cameron, with Green dominating the final three rounds.
"We always knew it was going to be a real battle and it definitely was," said Cameron's manager Ken Reinsfield.
"To go the full twelve rounds with a three time world champion showed that Shane is a real warrior. Obviously it was disappointing not to get the win, but that's boxing."
The extended highlights package that preceded Green's ring entrance looked very much like a retirement tribute, but it remains to be seen if he will fight on.
"I'm ready to be an Aussie and get on the cans with the boys," Green said, hinting at retirement.
Cameron's future is equally as unclear but he will take a lot out of a world title shot.
"I want to congratulate Danny on his win and his fourth world title, credit to Danny and his trainer, he fought a very smart fight," the New Zealander said.
"I want to thank everyone for their support. It was a tough, honest fight and great to be part of a world title experience."
The defeat was far from a disaster, but his inability to damage Green despite landing plenty of clean shots suggests cruiserweight may not be his division. The problem for Cameron is that heavyweight doesn't suit his in between frame all that well either.
Despite the loss Cameron will eventually reflect on a good performance. He boxed as well as he ever has when Green let him. But when Green tied things up Cameron simply lacked the strength to push him off.
That raised the question of just how much effect Green's tactic of starving Cameron right up until 28 hours before the fight had on the Kiwi. Green is clearly a clever operator, the wisdom of Cameron's camp in accepting the stipulation he drop down to 89kg is less clear.
If Cameron's reception on entering the ring was polite enthusiasm, Green's was rapturous. Despite a good smattering of Kiwis among the packed house of over 7000, there was no mistaking the identity of the home fighter.
The early signs were positive for Cameron. He landed a crisp right in the opening minute and a huge body rip mid-way through the first round.
A clash of heads in the second round opened a cut above Cameron's left eye - a worry considering his history in that regard but nothing came of it. The blood seemed to spur Cameron on as he dominated the third round after Green had probably just shaded the second.
Having stood his ground for the opening three rounds, Green began to move in the fourth, the Australian enjoying his best moment of the contest as he trapped Cameron on the ropes at the close of the round.
Green changed it up again in the fifth, wrestling Cameron onto the ropes. The tactic didn't initially bear much fruit, with Cameron landing a succession of upper cuts and a sharp right hand.
But Green continued to tie things up and eventually he muscled away Cameron's momentum. The judges cards suggested it wasn't close, however until the Green dominated the final three rounds the contest was certainly in the balance.By Steve Deane Email Steve