Boxing: 'Starve and hug' tactics plunder Cameron's power

By Steve Deane

Shane Cameron. Photo / Janna Dixon
Shane Cameron. Photo / Janna Dixon

He may have banked a good payday but it would have been no surprise if Shane Cameron returned from Melbourne yesterday minus his wallet, watch and jewellery.

Cameron was mugged by Danny Green on Wednesday night, plain and simple.

Green didn't become a four-time world champion by being a dope. His carefully conceived and executed plan to rob Cameron of his power and energy by forcing him to drop too much weight and front for two weigh-ins the day before the fight, then smother him in a cocoon of hugs, worked perfectly.

The choice of ineffectual referee Pat Russell - a diminutive, grandfatherly type with no ability or inclination to stop Green from doing as he pleased - was another shrewd move. Green had everything his way.

Asked if he would do anything differently, Cameron said: "Fight someone who doesn't hug me all night."

Cameron's assessment of the contest was honest. He thought it was "stink", "ugly" and probably "boring" to watch. He was probably right. The electric atmosphere at a sold-out Hisense Arena made the fight interesting for those there, however for those at home on the couch in New Zealand it would have been a grim struggle.

Predictably, Cameron's manager and promoter Ken Reinsfield was more upbeat about it all.

"It was a great fight," he said. "Boxing is not just a sport, it is entertainment. And what you got was a real fight. Any Shane Cameron fight is an entertaining fight.

"He doesn't run, he doesn't dodge shots. He gets in there and has a crack. So boxing fans will always turn up to watch Shane fight. He's only had three losses in over 30 fights. It's disappointing but it ain't the end of the world. Shane will go on from here."

Where to is unclear. Back to heavyweight to take on a top contender would make sense. Cameron was a shell of himself at the "Dannyweight" mark of 89kg. Even so, the fight was no disaster. Assuming the judges all gave Green the last three rounds, Cameron was even on one card and just a point behind on another heading into the decisive stage of the fight. Had he been able to rally in the final three rounds he would have won. But he couldn't, and the Green camp knew he wouldn't.

Reinsfield rejected the assertion he had given up too much. The Green Machine set the rules and it was take it or leave it. Cameron wanted the title shot, so he wasn't about to kick up too much fuss.

And the bottom line is always the bottom line.

The fight was budgeted to sell around 25,000 pay per views in New Zealand. Assuming it went close to that, the Cameron camp will have banked about $400,000 after deducting Sky's take.

That kind of money is hard to turn down, especially for the sake of a couple of measly kilograms.

But Cameron paid a high price in the ring. He insisted he felt fine, but his display screamed otherwise.

"It certainly won't be lighter," he said when asked which division he might tackle next.

"I am not one to blame or make excuses. Green fought a better fight plan ... His one worked and mine didn't."

That about summed it up. Green was a man with a plan. It was boxing's equivalent of a back-alley stick-up job.

- NZ Herald

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