“He knows he’s never going to be a world champion,” Liam Cameron questions how much Lyndon Arthur has left to offer

IF overcoming adversity was a sport then Liam Cameron would have been a world champion on more than one occasion.

Cameron’s story could find a home on the big screen one day and might not leave a dry eye in the house. This real-life drama is now entering its third act, however, and moves to his known territory of the boxing ring in Bolton tomorrow night (June 21).

The 33-year-old from Sheffield takes on Manchester’s Lyndon Arthur in a light heavyweight main event live on Channel 5 with the WBA Inter-Continental strap at stakes. For Cameron, however, it’s bigger than that.

“It’s the World Cup final, isn’t it, as Steve Bunce said on Channel 5 last week. World Cup final for me,” he tells Boxing News.

This is Cameron’s world title fight. A win against Arthur would shoot the career of the ‘Cannonball’ higher than ever and may reward him with a WBA top 15 ranking or somewhere close.

In January 2020 Cameron’s life was travelling to a destination unknown when he retired from boxing. His decision centred around the events following his first Commonwealth middleweight title defence against Nicky Jenman. The initial TKO win for Cameron was changed to a no-contest when the winner tested positive for traces (25 nanograms) of benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine. Cameron was banned by UKAD from the sport for four years.

One week after his punishment was confirmed, Cameron spoke to Elliot Worsell for Boxing News and said, “I hope I don’t get the urge (to return) because I’m going to be an old man in boxing, at 32. I’ll be 34 by the time I box for another title. How can I get back into boxing after four years away?”

That same year, in July, Cameron’s 20-year-old stepdaughter Tiegan died tragically in a road traffic accident. Alcoholism, weight gain and depression all added to his downward spiral, but now he’s back, clean, healthy and sober.

“I’ll never drink again,” he says. “I know I’m a tough lad. Regardless, I know I’ve got that in my arsenal. I’m proud of myself. People are.”

And for anyone else who may be struggling with any type of addiction here is some advice from Cameron himself. “My advice would be, don’t leave it until you have a scare to change. Change now. Start. Don’t say, oh, Monday. Monday never comes. Just get a grip to it.

“After 10 days, you’ll be that proud of yourself, you won’t want to touch it. You need to chill out from the mates what are constantly drinkers. You need to be a bit selfish and say, look, I need to stay away from it for a bit. This isn’t healthy for me. That’s what you’ve got to do. Be selfish.”

Cameron, 23-5 (10 KOs), isn’t selfish when it comes to his resurrected boxing career. Asked his reasons are for coming back to fight, he replies, “My kids and my girlfriend. I put them first, they’re what drive me. I don’t drive myself, they do.”

Life nowadays is described as “boring” by Cameron but that suits him down to the ground. Everything goes into his time at the gym which he is confident will pay off beginning with his fight against Lyndon Arthur who last time out went 12 rounds with Dmitry Bivol – at short notice – in December.

Cameron, who once campaigned at middle and super-middleweight, is now at light-heavy (175lbs), 25 pounds less than what he weighed for his comeback fight against Robbie Connor in October last year.

“I weighed in at cruiserweight for that one,” he recalls. “I was still flabby. He [Connor] was Scottish international as an amateur, massive for the weight. I’m a lot better now from my last fight. I’m just progressing. Not that my boxing-wise, it’s just that my strength, my body’s getting harder and everything.”

On Friday night Cameron is going to give it his all against his former world-ranked opponent who is looking to get back into the top 10 this year. Whether it’s a boxing match or a fight Cameron will be there willing to do whatever it takes as you might expect but after wins against Robbie Connor, Harry Matthews and Hussein Itaba it is a meteoric rise to then take on Arthur, 23-2 (16 KOs), who has mixed in world-class company. BN asked Cameron how good he thinks his

“Very good, but how much has he got left at the minute? How much has he got left? Them hard fights slowly take it away from you.

“He knows now he’s never going to be a world champion, so the desire’s dropped off what he wants. That’s my opinion. No disrespect to him.”

If Cameron should pull off what would be a huge upset in front of a terrestrial TV audience he remains undecided on what his future holds.

“I might win this and not want to box again,” he says. “You never know, do you? You never know. I could lose it and get more inspired. I don’t know.”

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