A battered and dejected Shane Cameron took his loss to Danny Green in last night's IBO world cruiserweight title fight hard.
"I'm very devastated," Cameron said in subdued dressing room full of friends and family who had been expecting to be celebrating the capture of a first world boxing title by a New Zealand-born fighter since Torpedo Billy Murphy in 1890.
"I was very confident of going out there and winning. I trained my guts out and was very keen to bring that title back to Aotearoa. I fell short and I am disappointed. Very disappointed. I'm very sorry. I did my best with the man that was in front of me."
Cameron had no issues with the judges that scored the fight 119-109, 116-112, 116-113, but he was less than thrilled with the ineffective refereeing of Pat Russell, who allowed Green to turn the fight into a wrestle and land illegal blows after being instructed to break
"I was very surprised the ref didn't pick it up but there is no point in me going on to the referee because he ain't gonna listen to me," he said.
"I did lose the fight. I didn't think I won it anyway. It was a very messy fight. I'm sure it was pretty boring to watch. Danny was on my chest the whole night.
"It was just a stink fight. For a world title fight... I think he did what he needed to do to win."
Green, who revealed he entered the ring with two broken ribs suffered during sparring, had some words of consolation for his vanquished foe.
"I just hope that he realizes how much respect I have and the people of Australia have [for him]," Green said. "Hopefully it doesn't deter him from going on to be a world champion because he deserves to be a world champion.
"I have the utmost respect for a guy like him who puts everything on the line. He didn't take a backward step the whole fight. He's chopped up but he kept going. His country should be proud of him. He shouldn't take this as a negative. He should stay cool and work his way back up because he deserves to be a world champion."