"This fight is important to prove himself as a boxer; to get back some of the respect he deserves."

That's Shane Cameron's wife, Tara. For the past 10 weeks she witnessed her husband train relentlessly, at least twice per-day, seven days a week, for one chance to restore his pride.

Last Sunday afternoon he came home from a run and, in the early evening, decided it wasn't enough. So he went back out and hit the roads again.

It's just one sign of his renewed hunger. Tara, more than most, understands his intense drive to remind everyone of his true fighting qualities by chopping Kali Meehan down to size on the Super8 main event this Saturday.

"He knows this is the fight of all fights," she says. "You can tell the fire is burning."

This is not about Meehan for Cameron. Sure he's studied Meehan's powerful right hand, his solid jab and rangy skills. After a 33 pro fight career that's spanned 14 years, this one is personal, though. Lose this and that's it.

"I don't want it to be all over," he says. "I want to retire based on my own decision, not because someone else has made it for me."

Regardless of what happens against the Australia-based Kiwi Meehan, Cameron has forged a successful career. Few boxers, let alone New Zealanders, get the chance to contest a world title.

But Cameron wants more. He knows modern-day fight fans have short attention spans. The old adage - you're only as good as your last fight - has never been more apt than to this generation.

Boxers are proud individuals. They need to be - there is no more lonely place in sport than inside the ring. Their legacy, therefore, weighs heavy on their consciousness. It motivates them when many believe their heads have absorbed enough blows.

For Cameron, this fight is as much about silencing his inner demons as it is silencing Meehan. Finishing his career on the back of three successive losses would haunt him to the grave.

Cameron was well aware of the implications when he publicly stated defeat here will signal the end. It was far from a rash statement. He is a man of his word.

He is also the type of bloke that usually thrives under pressure. With his back to the wall once again, he's given himself that edge.

"Personally, this is a fight I need to win. I need it to seal my mind. A legacy is built up over many years. I don't want to lose what I built up."

Cameron battled to rebound from his cruiserweight world title loss to Australian champion Danny Green in late 2012. His last, one-sided loss to American journeyman Brian Minto was especially deflating. Deep down his heart was never in it. "He's the first to admit he didn't train and prepare right," Tara says.

That's not Cameron. He's widely respected for pressing forward, fighting through the pain, repeated broken hands and numerous facial cuts.

"The ring is a cruel thing," he says. "If you haven't done the hard yards you're going to get exposed. I was exposed big time against Minto. The mentality of a fighter is you think you're alright but it's only in hindsight you see you weren't, but I don't make excuses.

"After the Danny Green fight, I struggled for a bit. It was hard for me to come back. I don't know how but the desire has come back. I'm hungry for a victory. More because I've lost my last two fights."

It's more than two years since Cameron's last win, two years since his memorable statement put a cocky Monte Barrett to sleep in such devastating fashion.

In that time Cameron has been married, welcomed his second child, now 10-month-old Shane Jnr, and fully established his North Shore gym.

Plenty of distractions, some might suggest.

The urge to knock someone out doesn't exist in everyone and Cameron is confident those changes haven't quelled the necessary mongrel, that crucial killer instinct.

"There are distractions. There's a lot going on in my life. I try to manage that. I've passed the workload on to Tara while I've been in training. When I was younger coming through all I thought about was boxing but I'm a lot more experienced in the ring now."

Meehan predicts he will end Cameron's career, saying he doesn't belong with the big boys. Cameron brushes off the jibes.

"He can talk as much crap as he wants. He knows I'm coming. And I'll be coming strong and hard. When that bell goes ding, ding, ding, we'll see who's been working harder."