Shane Cameron is feeling the effects of his punishing training and fasting regime ahead of next week's IBO world cruiserweight title fight against Danny Green and has been ordered to eat more.
Cameron was late to a scheduled media session at his Auckland gym this afternoon because of a visit to his dietician, who has told him to ease up on a strict diet which was seen him consume only about 2500 calories a day.
He leaves for Melbourne tomorrow morning to prepare for the fight at the Hisense Arena next Wednesday night and said he had been boosted by the instruction to put more on his plate.
An extremely lean-looking Cameron has lost about six kilograms and tips the scales at just under 92kg - the weight limit is 90.7kg.
"I've felt that the body has been drained for a few days but when the dietician looked at my diet she said `you're not having enough food or calories, equalling energy'... I'm glad she said I could increase it. My energy went up just with her saying it without me even eating anything.''
His lack of energy is not surprising given his strictly controlled diet and a training schedule which has put him through 80 rounds of sparring - more than for any previous fight.
The 35-year-old has been sparring with three fighters a night on a rotation basis. His opponents, including David Aloua and Daniel McKinnon, have the luxury of a break after a couple of rounds while Cameron boxes on in sessions designed to push him to the limit.
He said of the sparring sessions: "It put a lot of pressure on me but that's what I needed.''
Asked if he had lost power as well as weight, Cameron said comments relayed to his manager Ken Reinsfield suggested he hadn't. "My sparring partners have all said to Kenny, `hey man that guy is losing weight but he's not losing any power, he's actually getting faster and harder'.
"The weight is not a factor to me. I know I'm stronger [than Green] anyway. I'm going to feel fast. I still have to go and win it though.''
After making the weight, Cameron will take to the ring at about 94kg and is likely to have a considerable weight advantage over his 39-year-old Australian opponent.
He is excited about the prospect of his title shot but knows he will be under pressure to make his dominance obvious to the three judges - an Australian, a New Zealander and an American. A stoppage would be preferable.
"He's the golden boy over there. I don't really want to leave it to the judges. If I can put him to sleep in the first round, I will put him to sleep.''
His sensational fourth-round knockout of American Monte Barrett in Auckland in July proved he is capable of that too - as a heavyweight at least.
"That was one of the best feelings in my life. I finally got to prove that I am at that level. That was the easiest fight of my professional career too. I fought smart, I had a great training camp, everything went well, the fight plan, I just ticked all the boxes.''
- APNZBy Patrick McKendry Email Patrick