By Liam Napier
Shane Cameron is, indeed, a man of his word. His professional boxing career ended with a unanimous loss to Kali Meehan in Auckland tonight.
Cameron pledged to retire if he lost this fight and after a 14-year, 34-fight career, he confirmed there would be no more punishment, though he deserves credit for going toe-to-toe with Meehan over 10 competitive rounds.
"That's it. I'm a man of my word," Cameron said. "I'd like to thank New Zealand for all their support. I'll now concentrate on my family."
Ultimately, Meehan landed the heavier punches and did enough in the final round to convince the judges who all scored in his favour - 91-99, 92-98 and 93-97. The 44-year-old took home the WBA Pan African title and is now keen to take on former world champion Shannon Briggs next year.
The result means Cameron lost his last three fights; a world title against four-time Australian champion Danny Green; to American journeyman Brian Minto and Meehan.
For West Auckland-raised Australian-based Meehan, this fight was about regaining some respect from his homeland by establishing his legacy. He felt this result achieved that. It was also a special night with his son, Willis, recording a dominant win over Will Quarrie on his pro debut.
Both Cameron and Meehan came to trade early but tired in the latter rounds and frequent stoppages to tape gloves interrupted the fight's momentum.
Meehan controlled the first two rounds but then Cameron rallied, staggering the former world title challenger in the third with two big shots. The expression on Meehan's face after eating a massive right hand was revealing.
Cameron found his groove in the fourth by close distance and getting inside to connect with some solid uppercuts and body shots but was then cut above his left eye in fifth. Meehan's persistent jab and long reach had taken its toll. Cameron's corner worked overtime between rounds to keep the cut under control as his eye began to close.
Meehan launched a comeback to take the sixth round and, from there, took control of the contest.