Opinion: The Reality of the Shane Cameron Win
Photo by Crispin Anderlini
Logic, by its nature, is sometimes very illogical and prone to flights of fancy. Universal truths turn to fallacy at the drop of a hat and it expects you to do the maths without a calculator.
Take the following equation:
Tua beats Cameron.
Barrett beats Tua
Barrett must beat Cameron right?
Apparently not, as all Shane “The Mountain Warrior” Cameron’s blasting of Monte “Two Gunz” Barret proves is that I would’ve never passed university calculus had I not relied so heavily on my fellow students during the group assignment.
The fight game is not a maths test.
With a single overhand right Cameron (29-2, 22 KOs) simultaneously silenced his doubters and made the heavyweight division sit up briefly, as he laid waste to Barrett (35-10-2, 20 KOs) in the beginning of the fourth round at the Sky City Casino in Auckland last Thursday.
With the win, Cameron reclaimed the WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental heavyweight straps that he lost in two rounds to David Tua in October 2009.
Cameron returned to the heavyweight division after falling short to Friday Ahunanya and then Tua and retreating to cruiserweight. He had been lobbying for a cruiserweight title fight with Australian Danny Green before Green succumbed to former light heavyweight king Antonio Tarver.
Once the Green fight was no longer an option it appeared that Cameron may be retiring, with the history books defining him as being not big or durable enough to be a heavyweight and without the hand-speed needed at cruiser.
Needless to say, the shockingly violent nature of the knock-out came as a surprise to, well, everybody.
Even after the first round, where Cameron punched well to the body but was stung by a right hand, this type of stoppage just didn’t seem possible as Barrett stayed down for several minutes after the finishing blow and still appeared 'out of it' when interviewed.
Although the winner was to be made the contender to the NZPBA Heavyweight strap - held by one Sonny Bill Williams - considering how spectacular the result turned out to be, this prospect now must seem about as enterprising as finally being able to tie your shoelaces and being forced back into Velcro.
Undoubtedly this fight would be a big draw and line some pockets, but any kind of larger implication would be negligible (except for a destructive and definitive end to the whole SBW circus).
Although explosive and dramatic, this win needs to be put into perspective. Despite his Tua win, Barrett is still a spent force at 41 years of age.
His ambivalence toward the bout showed as he appeared disinterested, complained of a seemingly innocuous headbutt and generally cared not to adjust strategy after Cameron established body punching as his raison d'être.
The reality is that Monte Barrett was drastically over-rated at Number 12 by the WBO. He only attained this on the basis of his two bouts with David Tua, although Tua, who was ranked as the Number 1 contender for a long time, hasn’t fought anyone of any kind of quality in the last decade.
Barrett himself has gone 1-4-2 in his last seven, with the Tua decision being his lone win.
Forget another go-round with Tua, the fight sits at the wrong end of the risk/reward spectrum.
At best SBW is a stay-warm fight and a Tua rematch should only be further stoked if Cameron falls at the next hurdle.
A fight with either Klitschko is probably further away than most media outlets will let you believe. Yes, Vitali and Wladimir are running out of opponents, but even the guys they are facing have either name recognition or something of a pay-per-view draw.
Cameron does have a chance to become a voluntary defence, as champions can make optional defences against anyone ranked in the top 15. This still appears to be a pipe dream without Cameron having a dedicated pay-per-view following. Duco have thrown around names of top contenders Chris Arreolla, Seth Mitchel, Denis Boytsov and Alexander Povetkin, and are more than willing to put up the backing.
They are very aware that a repeat performance on a larger stage will thrust Cameron further into the title picture.
Craig Bailey is NZFighter’s senior writer in the fields of boxing and mma. All local promoters wanting to give their fighters much needed coverage and exposure should contact NZFighters.