Trash talk starts ahead of Cameron-Barrett clash
The war of words between New Zealand heavyweight Shane Cameron and outspoken American Monte Barrett began today after the pair went face to face in their first press conference ahead of their July bout.
Auckland’s Skycity is set to host the fight on July 5, with Barrett set to put the WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Oriental Heavyweight belts, formerly held by Cameron, on the line.
Barrett, who is well known to New Zealand boxing fans after he beat David Tua last August, was quick to taunt the Kiwi today by reciting a poem he had written on his flight to Auckland from his native New York City.
In it Barrett claimed “my fist and Shane’s face will be best friends all night”, but 34-year-old Cameron was confident he would expose the age difference against the soon-to-be 41-year-old.
“I’ll turn you into a 40-year-old man,” Cameron told his opponent in response to the poem. “I’ve seen your last fight, you were slow.”
However the brash American was quick in his response.
“I was slow? I’ve seen your fight with David Tua and you were through the ropes,” Barrett said, referring to Cameron’s infamous second round knockout defeat to Tua in 2009.
“So you need to cut it out buddy,” Barrett continued.
“You got more grey hair than me and I’m older than you, I think you’ve got a lot of problems.”
Taunts aside, fight promoter Dean Lonergan confirmed that the winner of the fight would become No. 1 contender to the New Zealand heavyweight title claimed by All Black Sonny Bill Williams in February.
The rules state that after the No. 1 contender is confirmed Williams will have to defend his belt within 12 months, but Lonergan doubted the rugby star would be up to the challenge.
“I think Sonny would love to have the opportunity to test himself, but I think his manager Khoder Nasser will run like a little girl when presented with the opportunity and I expect inside of 12 months Sonny Bill will throw the belt in, if he still has it,” Lonergan said.
Barrett had previously claimed he would fight Cameron and Williams in the same night and didn’t show much respect for the dual-international as a boxer today exclaiming: “I want to date him, the guy’s really pretty.”
“With Sonny Bill Williams, I just want to punch him in the stomach because he’s a pretty boy and once I hit him I don’t think he’s ever going to worry about putting on another pair of boxing gloves, he’s going to stick to kicking footballs for the rest of his life.”
Cameron was more focussed on the job at hand, aware that the fight is likely to be the toughest challenge he has faced in his 30-fight career, with Barrett having challenged for the World Heavyweight title on two occasions.
A farcry from the New Zealander’s last heavyweight opponent, former league player John Hopoate in 2010, but Cameron said this was about confirming his status as one of this country’s top boxers.
“I want to stamp my authority and legacy on this country, there’s not a lot of great fighters that come out of New Zealand, but I’d like to be up there with the ones that were great in New Zealand.”