Liam Cameron is in a relaxed mood ahead of his fight with Lyndon Arthur in Bolton on Friday night. 

The final few days before a fight can be a stressful period but the Sheffield light heavyweight isn’t spending his time worrying about his weight, injuries or whether he has sparred the right people. 

Compared to some of the days Cameron, 23-5 (10 KOs), has endured over the past few years, fight week must be a joy. 

“It might sound daft but I’m not really thinking about it till fight day. I’ll push it to the back of my head. I’ve had bigger fights than this in life. We know it’s different with a pair of boxing gloves on but I can ride any storm, I’m confident of that. I’ll give it my best like I always do,” he told Boxingscene. 

“I’ve just gotta be confident. What will be will be. I just think there’s a higher power where it’s not gonna bring me back to only let me go, ‘Oh, he did well.’”

In 2018, Cameron successfully defended his Commonwealth middleweight title against Nicky Jenman. His post fight drug test contained 25 nanograms of benzolyecgonine; a metabolite of cocaine.

Eighteen months later, Cameron was handed a four-year ban. The hefty penalty was partly due to his refusal to admit that he had knowingly taken the substance. Protesting his innocence may have felt like the right thing to do but it still left him marooned from the sport.

Cameron had ballooned in weight and was already drinking heavily when his 20-year-old step daughter, Tiegan, was killed in a road accident. The tragedy accelerated Cameron’s downward spiral. When things can’t get any worse, they can only get better and Cameron reached rock bottom as he lay in a hospital bed. He stopped drinking, got his life back together and then found his way back to the boxing gym.

After losing around five stone in weight, he got back into the ring last October as a cruiserweight but has since boxed twice as a light heavyweight, scoring back-to-back first round knockouts. 

Cameron is now 33 years old and has returned to a sport where fighters who have tested positive for performance enhancing drugs reign as world champions and some who have returned positive tests continue to call for big fights whilst protesting their innocence. 

“It’s not personal but come on,” he said with a touch of exasperation. “The ban [for recreational drugs] got changed to a maximum of three months and a month if you did a course with rehab [after he was given four years]. You didn’t have to stay anywhere. You just had to go to a meeting with somebody. What I got banned for does harm against me, not harm against my opponent.  

“I paid for the drug test. With UKAD you can request it at the show and pay a thousand pounds. That’s what we did. I paid for it. It came out of my purse. 

“When I win this fight, I’m gonna be glad it all happened. I can say, ‘Look what I’ve been through. I’ve come back.” It makes a good story.”

Arthur poses a tough test for top level light heavyweights, let alone a fighter who is new to 175lbs and has spent so long out of the ring.

The Mancunian is a quality operator who went 12 rounds with the outstanding Dmitry Bivol in Saudi Arabia last December and has been boxing at championship level since Cameron began his ban. 

Cameron wonders whether Arthur - after tasting the big time against Bivol amidst the Saudi glitz and glamor - will have the same appetite for a fight with him in Bolton. He also believes that the fact that he has been given the opportunity in the first place hints at Arthur’s level of ambition. 

“Lyndon Arthur’s been in some big fights and I know he’s boxed Bivol and Anthony Yarde but he’s been manufactured better than the others with lower opposition,” he said.

“He didn’t like what I said but if he wants to push on in his career - and I’m not being horrible - but he should be fighting better people than me. That’s not taking anything away from my own boxing. I’m not saying it to downgrade myself like I’m some kind of idiot. I’m a hard fight.

“What’s Lyndon got left? He’s just been paid big for fighting in Saudi Arabia. I’ve been training for a year solid. He’s had a massive fight. He’s gone abroad. He’s probably drank and partied. I’ve been a machine. You’ve seen Rocky III where Rocky wins and gets complacent? He’s going on holidays and he’s around women. Mr T is just grinding it out in the gym. I feel like that’s what’s happening here.”

Cameron has studied Arthur but has stopped short of setting out a tactical plan. The hundreds of rounds he has sparred with the slick, patient Lerrone Richards have given him first hand experience of handling an accurate jab and and despite Arthur being the established light heavyweight, he believes that he will be big and strong enough to make an impact on the 33-year-old.

Cameron’s life hasn’t exactly gone to plan over the last few years. He has learned to adapt and overcome whatever is thrown at him and he will need to do exactly that if he is to upset the odds and write a new chapter in his story this weekend.

“I’ll be genuinely honest. I haven’t got a game plan. You can have a load of gameplans but he’s isn’t gonna walk where I’m imagining he will in my head. Maybe he’ll come and think, ‘I’ll have a fight with him.’

“When I used to make super middle and middle, I’d be sparring brilliantly. I’d be smashing people and dropping them. Then I’d make the weight and be dead. I didn’t have anything in me. I didn’t get tested at middleweight. I know I boxed Sam Sheedy who was really good but if they’d taken me out of the early rounds I’d have been fucked. I was dead. Luckily I banged them with good shots and got them out of there. I think I’ve stopped five of my last six wins. 

“I might box on the back foot. We’ve never seen Lyndon chase someone down. I don’t know until I’m in there. I’ll be downloading everything in my brain.

“I don’t know how I’m gonna fight. The last fight, I thought I’d get six rounds [against Hussein Itaba]. This lad had been knocking everyone out. I know they were shit people but he’s been sparking everyone out. I thought I’d just box him. I ended up cracking him with a right hand and he was all over the place. 

“I don’t want to jinx it but I don’t think he’s got massive power. I just think he’s good at setting it up, I don’t think he’s an Anthony Yarde or a Joshua Buatsi where he’s gonna come at you taking your head off.”