By Duncan Johnstone
Shane Cameron knows plenty about both boxers and he's picking Joseph Parker's youth and confidence to prevail over Kali Meehan's experience in next week's New Zealand heavyweight showdown in west Auckland.
The 47-year-old Meehan steps into the ring for the first time since ending Cameron's career with a unanimous points decision last November.
Cameron has trained with the unbeaten Parker and believes the momentum of a busy unbeaten schedule should see him win though expects the 23-year-old to receive a stern examination from Meehan on October 15.
"I've been in the ring with both of these boys. I've fought Kali and he beat me, it was a good night for him. I haven't fought Joseph but I've sparred many rounds with him," Cameron said as he met up with Meehan at his North Shore gym on Tuesday.
"I think this is going to be a fight where Joseph will be tested but I think the way he is going at the moment, it's going to be hard to get on top of him.
"I know when I was young I felt bullet-proof and no one could beat me. I'm sure the way Joseph's mind is thinking, it will be exactly the same thing."
Cameron believed all the pressure was on Parker given his rapid rise up the ranks and the plans in place for him to capitalise on that over the coming year.
Parker is ranked six at the WBO, 13 at the WBA and 15 at the WBC. He is also up to No 18 with the independent rankings issued by respected website Boxrec. Meehan, a former world title contender, is at No 28 with them.
"He's the next king-pin. He's needs to win this fight. He has to win this fight and that's where all the pressure is," Cameron said of Parker.
"But he has good people around him and it's how he deals with it. I can't see him having any problems dealing with the pressure and that's the biggest thing – dealing with the top two inches. Eighty per cent of it is psychological when you are in the ring. If you can sort that out, well, you can sort the fight out."
Cameron has huge respect for Meehan's abilities and achievements but says this fight will come down to desire.
Impressions yesterday suggested Meehan had done plenty of hard work at his Australian base, looking in good shape.
"Kali isn't coming here to come second. He knows he's up for it and he knows he's in for it … it comes down to how much he takes up this challenge," Cameron said.
Cameron, who fought in two big New Zealand promotions against David Tua and Meehan, said they had a special atmosphere that was to be cherished by the fighters and the fans.
He felt this would be a defining fight for the New Zealand scene.
"It's not very often you get these, they are special nights and this is big for New Zealand boxing because once Kali retires there's no one else coming through. They talk about Hemi Ahio but I don't see him being there just yet."