Patrick McKendry

Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Boxing: Cameron starts on comeback trail

Mountain Warrior plans heavyweight bout for December and says future Tua rematch could be on the cards.

Shane Cameron's camp has assured that his opponent won't be a pushover. Photo / Greg Bowker
Shane Cameron's camp has assured that his opponent won't be a pushover. Photo / Greg Bowker

After an absence from the fight game of almost a year, Shane Cameron is back training for a heavyweight bout in December which could lead to a dramatic rematch with David Tua.

Cameron has committed himself to the heavyweight division after his disappointing loss to Australian Danny Green in a world cruiserweight title fight in Melbourne last November and will fight a yet-to-be-determined opponent at a Fight for Life event at Waitakere's Trusts Arena on December 14.

"I had a good think after that title fight ... the cruiserweight division, it's too tough for me to get [my weight] down there," he said. "I walk around naturally at 101kg, 102kg, and that's with not a lot of fat on me anyway, so when I have to lose another 10kg to make cruiserweight, it just takes it out of me.

"At heavyweight I feel strong and I know I can knock anyone out."

Cameron's camp has assured that his opponent won't be a pushover, but he isn't likely to be much more than a first step on a journey which could lead to a Tua rematch or a fight against 21-year-old Joseph Parker.

High-profile potential opponents in Australia are Alex Leapai and Lucas Browne.

The fight between Cameron and Tua in Hamilton four years ago ended in the second round with Cameron being knocked out for only the second time in his career.

However, far from being the end of his career, Cameron went on to win his next six fights, including a stunning knockout victory of his own against American Monte Barrett in Auckland, before his loss to Green, a fight in which he was pushed around after going from 96kg to 88.5kg in four months.

Asked about the prospect of getting in the ring with Tua, now back to impressive shape himself in preparing for his showdown with Alexander Ustinov in less than three weeks, Cameron was adamant he would welcome the chance.

"It was just one of those things that can happen in the heavyweight division," he said of his loss in what was dubbed New Zealand's 'Fight of the Century'. "If he hadn't caught me in the first round, who knows what might have happened? It was no different to what I did with Barrett - I caught him with one punch and he was asleep for a couple of minutes. It just shows you how brutal the sport of boxing can be. One punch can change the whole fight. David did that to me and I did that to Barrett. David didn't do that to Barrett."

Tua has a one-loss, one-draw record against Barrett.

"I've always known I've got that knockout punch," Cameron added. "I've built my name on being a heavyweight - I've only had a half dozen fights at cruiserweight. Just because I lost to David, it doesn't mean it's the end of my career ... it comes back to what you believe in yourself and what you're capable of doing."

Cameron's manager Ken Reinsfield said: "This is the boxing business. If those guys end up fighting each other, that's what they do for a living. It's always a possibility, it's nothing personal, this is the business they're involved in.

"They're the fights that people probably want to see. They'd want to see Shane v David again, particularly after Shane beat Barrett. That showed that Shane's totally capable of destroying the first guy that knocked Tua down. Shane knocked him out cold."

- APNZ

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