Brooklynfights.com caught up with pro boxer, Shawn “Killa” Cameron (8-0), in the run-up to his fight, taking place this Friday at Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, NY. We went behind the scenes with the super welterweight southpaw at the world famous Gleason’s Gym, as he prepared to face Aaron Drake (14-7) in Friday’s bout.
You have a fight coming up next Friday, 4/10 at Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn. Tells us about your training camp regimen and mindset going into that bout.
It’s all mental. What I’ve been doing differently this time, I’ve been going to different gyms to spar different people to see different things and different styles so I can adapt and respond to anything. I went up to the Bronx and sparred Eddie Gomez…good kid, he’s like 17-1. Went to Freeport and sparred Partick Day. I’ve been sparring a couple of guys from here [Gleason’s Gym] also – really strong, tough guys just to get my body under condition. It seems like I’ve been training so long, I am ready for this fight, just to knock this guy out and get it over with.
I’m in the gym six days a week. I do my training in the gym in the morning, then at night, roadwork and calisthenics.
What’s the single word you’d use to describe your mindset as you’re walking to the ring for a big fight?
If you’re not focused, you’re going to be distracted by everything – the sound, the people, what you’re about to do. So it’s just about being focused.
At age 32 with a perfect 8-0 record, what does the next year hold for you in terms of advancing in the rankings and getting bigger fights?
I think I’m behind but it wasn’t in my control. Prior to this event, it was just me and my trainer going from place to place to get fights … a lot of times, guys would fall out at the last minute and they couldn’t find a replacement. I’ve had a lot of pullouts, at least 7 or 8.
I didn’t grow up boxing. I started this whole thing in 2008, so I’ve been playing catch-up ever since. But fuck it, I’m out here doing all this crazy shit, getting hit in the face, and if you don’t like it, then don’t do it … It’s something I really love, and nothing good comes easy.
I recently signed with Dibella. That takes a lot of stress off.
Tell us about your upbringing, how you got into boxing and your military service.
I was born in Jamaica–the country–not Jamaica, Queens. Grew up in Brooklyn, in Flatbush. I would do stupid kid shit, regular kid shit, you know, fights and stupid stuff.
My Dad convinced me to go into the military. He set it up to give me some form of structure, to get me away from all of the neighborhood stuff. And it worked.
One of the most important things is how they break you down from the first day they send you to boot camp. I started crying. I’ve never been a person to cry, but I cried that day. I wrote my mom like, “Please come get me out of here.” They break you mentally. They control your every move for a month…total control. They wake you up early, you gotta ask permission to speak, ask permission to use the bathroom, permission to everything. And they’re on you, and you can’t do shit because you’re in the middle of nowhere. And what the fuck are you going to do? You’re not going to get kicked out. A lof of people try to get kicked out, but like I said, it helped me. It gave me some structure and helped me from a mental standpoint to build my mind up to basically endure anything.
From getting into those stupid street-fights–they had smokers, it’s like a boxing event. But “we don’t know how to box.” It’s the average person from the street coming in, and you just go in there and slug it out. You go in there and fight to the best of your ability. I’ve been fighting since Jimmy Crack Corn, so I was knocking people the fuck out and it became a thing.
As an amateur, you won the NYS Golden Gloves in 2009. How long did you spend in the amateurs, and what were the key lessons you learned there?
So when I got out of the military, I came back and started looking around and the first thing that popped up was Gleason’s. It’s the #1 boxing gym in New York City. I walked in here December 2007, and the following month I was in the Golden Gloves. I made it to the semi-finals, knocking people out. It was like a thing now – I wanted to do it. Everybody shows interest, you make the papers, and I wanted that. I won the next year.
What’s the most challenging moment you’ve faced in boxing?
I fought guys in the amateurs where you have nothing left, and you have to really push yourself — “I can’t quit, I can’t quit.” — especially my first year in the Golden Gloves when the competition got really tough. And you just have to fight and you have nothing left. You have no energy left, and you’ve got to fight. Your trainer is telling you stuff – jab, move … It sounds easy, but you come in here and do this shit.
But it’s a mental thing. About 80-90% of this whole thing is mental. So far, I think that’s my biggest asset.
Mayweather or Pacquiao?
I think Mayweather is going to win. My first year in the Golden Gloves, I was knocking people out, being stronger and being tougher. Some clown in the semi-finals, instead of standing toe-to-toe and banging out with me, he boxed me, and he won by being a little smarter.
From watching Mayweather and Pacquiao, Pacquiao is good and really fast. He’s definitely faster than Mayweather and he throws more combos. I don’t know if he’s stronger, but he’s definitely faster. Of course, he has the southpaw angle. But other than that, he’s not as smart as Floyd. He wants to come forward and throw punches, but he’s not setting him up. He’ll follow you all night instead of cutting the ring off. It’s like what he did to Chris Algieri. He was supposed to go in there and dominate him, and he did, but if he’s such a killer, why not go for the stoppage?
He followed Chris all night. If you watch all his fights, it’s the same thing. For him to get Floyd, he has to impose his will. He has to come and get Floyd against the ropes, and I don’t see that happening. Floyd is the better boxer. He’s a little bigger, he’s got more knockouts. It’s boxing, so anything could happen, but I don’t see him really having his way against Floyd Mayweather.