Love is a word thrown around very loosely nowadays, loving a sport like boxing usually just brings you to turn on the TV on a Saturday night and catch a fight, to be involved in the sport and to compete at a professional level requires you to be obsessed with boxing, and possessed with the idea of being successful. The casual fan is usually led to believe that these “obsessed” fighters do it just for the money, but any budding prospect can tell you about a part time job that helps cover the costs at home while they train. In reality there are those fighters that come around that truly believe in themselves and want nothing more than the taste of victor when they compete, the money comes in time but for now it’s about proving your worth.
Boxing for Shawn Cameron goes beyond love and obsession, it’s fully ingrained into his lifestyle, and when the rising prospect isn’t working for New York City’s public transportation department, he’s hard at work running every morning and night, training hard at the famed Gleason’s Gym, and “Parking” his opponents when he steps in the ring. While the 30 year old up and comer could easily continue to work and use boxing to stay fit, it’s his warrior spirit that keeps him going forward. This upcoming Saturday, May 4th; at the Resorts World Casino in Queens, NY, rugged Brooklynite Shawn Cameron (4-0 3KO’s) looks for his next knockout victory on the New Legends Promotions undercard. We caught up with the heavy handed southpaw to discuss his life, his drive for the sport of boxing, and his plans for the future.
ThaBoxingVoice: First, for those who don’t already know you, tell the people who you are, and what was life before you found boxing?
Shawn Cameron: “Shawn Cameron, I’m from Brooklyn. I was born in Jamaica and grew up here, my mom is Cuban and my dad is Jamaican, life before boxing was just running the streets and then went to the military and came home and ended up in Gleason’s and here I am today.”
ThaBoxingVoice: What was military life like? What did you do to serve our country?
Shawn Cameron: “I was a Chemical Operations Specialist; we were out there basically looking for weapons of mass destruction. The military added structure to my life, because before then you know I’m out here getting into a whole bunch of trouble and all this other stuff. My dad actually sent me to the military and that’s where all this conditioning your mind came into play, it actually helps me with boxing getting up and being disciplined to go out and train.”
ThaBoxingVoice: How did you find boxing? How did it all start?
Shawn Cameron: “Fighting just like everyone else. You ever knock somebody out? That’s like the most liberating feeling ever, when you knock somebody out its addictive. I was a 130lbs or something and I’m knocking out 200+lbs dudes, so I figured more or less I’m going to pick it up. I did some smokers too, we were in the desert when I was deployed and we had some boxing gloves and I was knocking dudes out. When I came home I kind of stuck with it, went to Gleason’s and started sparring, went to the Golden Gloves, made it to the semis. I lost my 6th fight at 152lb Novice and but I kept with it and one thing lead to another and I just said ‘fuck it’ and decided to turn pro.”
ThaBoxingVoice: What was your amateur career like overall? What tournaments did you compete in?
Shawn Cameron: “As an amateur I was in the 152lb class, I won the Novice NY Golden Gloves in 2009, made it to the semis in 2010, finalist in the Metros, and quarter finalist in the National PAL tournament.”
ThaBoxingVoice: What notable fighters did you share the ring with as an amateur?
Shawn Cameron: “As an amateur mainly local guys, I fought Eddie Gomez, Rich Neves, and Cletus Seldin, just mostly local fighters. A lot of guys who in the past year or year in a half made the transition to the pros.”
ThaBoxingVoice: So what was that like making the transition to the professional ranks? When did you decide to give up your amateur career?
Shawn Cameron: “I’m a student of the game man and I watch a lot of fights. What happens is that the amateurs are totally different from the pros, the scoring system and everything. I wasn’t built for a whole bunch of boxing and pity patting and stuff like that; I was trying to knock you out. If you check even in the Golden Gloves I was putting them out, if I didn’t beat you up bad I was putting you out and I figured my style is more suited for the pro ranks anyways. I was a little bit more aggressive and I was trying to land really hard shots, I do a lot of body work and try to break you down. After losing in the semis, I just figured more or less this is not what I want to do, I want to take it to the next level because I’m better than that, I was sparring a lot of guys in Gleason’s, a lot of pros and I’m making it real competitive in there. Sparring is not fighting but if I’m doing that well in the gym then why not?”
ThaBoxingVoice: Standing here in front of the new Barclays Center not too far from where you grew up, with all the big fights being staged here what would it mean for you to one day be part of that? Being that you grew up not too far from here what would that mean to you?
Shawn Cameron: “It would be awesome. I fought in The Garden as an amateur in the Golden Glove finals, but actually being here; this is new and they’re bringing a lot of boxing to Brooklyn. This is where I’m from I would accept the opportunity in a heartbeat, my family and friends would come out and support. Anyone from Brooklyn that competes; this is what they want, this is the highest level period.”
ThaBoxingVoice: Let’s be a bit abstract, let’s say you were on the cusp of a title shot at Junior Middleweight, who would you like to face off against here in your hometown as the main event?
Shawn Cameron: “At 154? Canelo of course, he’s the man at 154, especially with his performance against Austin Trout, that’s who I would definitely love to fight here in my hometown; Canelo.”
ThaBoxingVoice: Let’s talk about social media, you’re no holds barred and pretty entertaining but what is this term “Getting Parked”, how did you come up with that? Elaborate on what it means to “Park” someone.
Shawn Cameron: “That’s basically to knock a mother fucker out. When you “park” somebody you just leave them sitting there. Right now its parking season I’m trying to knock everything out, I’m in the gym training but I don’t really train to go the whole fight, I’m training to knock you the fuck out. One day I just said it and then before your know it everyone started saying it and that’s what it is, parking season anything having to do with the word park, Parkington, Parkchester, we knocking people out at the end of the day.”
ThaBoxingVoice: We know you plan on “Parking” your next opponent at the Resorts World Casino May 4th, who are you fighting? What can you tell us about your opponent?
Shawn Cameron: “My opponent is Jose Ortiz, I have seen one clip of him, and he fought Rich Neves who I fought in the amateurs. I beat him twice as an amateur as a matter of fact and Rich Neves is one of the dudes that stopped him (Ortiz) so I’m basically going to gauge my performance against Rich’s, so if he stopped in the 4th round, I’m going to try to stop him in three, or two, or less.”
ThaBoxingVoice: What have preparations been like? What is your schedule and who is part of your camp?
Shawn Cameron: “My trainer is Don Saxby and Delen Parsley Sr. Mikkel Lespierre and Khalid the young kid who just won the Golden Gloves is part of my team, we have a lot of people who help me out in camp like Yuri Foreman. I’m in the gym Monday through Saturday, every day before work I go for about 2-3 hours a day and run after. I live that actual gym life, the one that everybody talks about, I’m there.”
ThaBoxingVoice: Being that you’re in NYC and the cost of everything is so high, how do you balance out your boxing career with your career at the MTA?
Shawn Cameron: “You have to love it; it has to be from the heart. It’s not easy I’ll tell you that, if I didn’t like it or I didn’t really want to do it I would quit, I don’t really need to do it I just love boxing. I’m watching fights all the time, my life revolves around boxing; if I didn’t have boxing I’d be out getting in to some kind of trouble. You have to love it, especially a person like me, I’m not signed with a major promoter and I don’t have a big time manager who’s going to help me financially so you definitely need a job. I get paid every two weeks and it helps pay my gym dues and buy equipment, if I didn’t love it I wouldn’t waste my money on things just to get hit.”
ThaBoxingVoice: So you just turned 30 recently and I’m sure there’s a lot of detractors who think you can’t make it at such an advanced age in boxing, what do you say to those people?
Shawn Cameron: “I have nothing to lose, I didn’t grow up boxing, I didn’t do the Junior Olympics or have a huge amateur background, and I’ve been fighting my whole life, everything I learned in the military I applied to my day to day life. I’m not out abusing my body drinking or smoking or being up all night. I get off from work, watch TV, go to bed, get up, go to the gym, and do this shit again. I started boxing seriously in December 2007 and entered the gloves that following January and my second time I won. Do you know how many people have been in boxing for years? Guys that I beat with over 100 fights; I applied myself and trained, I think I’m sharp and I believe in myself so it really doesn’t matter what the next person says. I use a lot of things as a measuring stick but age isn’t one of them”
ThaBoxingVoice: Who do you admire as a fan that motivates you to be better?
Shawn Cameron: “People like Kid Chocolate, he didn’t have a huge amateur background and he has a belt now. A lot of fighters that defy the odds when people say they can’t do it and they prove them wrong. Rigondeaux is another one, he’s 31 or 32, granted he has over 400 amateur fights but a lot of people looked at him and said he wouldn’t be shit in the pros and he beat Donaire. I’m always observing and there’s always people working hard and defying the odds, if they can do it why can’t I do it?
ThaBoxingVoice: In closing what would you like to say to your fans and how can they stay up to date with you and your career?
Shawn Cameron: “Shawn Cameron on Facebook, _disrespectfulcam on Instagram, and of course Killa_154 on Twitter. Just follow me, talk to me, I talk back, I don’t think I’m better than anybody I’m just out here doing what I do, and that’s it I’m just a regular guy.”