By Liam Napier
Shane Cameron is expected to be propelled into the world's top 10 heavyweight contenders and could be one fight from a title shot after his Monte Barrett knockout.
Cameron's camp have also ruled out an immediate rematch with David Tua, who is understood to be coming out of retirement after indicating to training guru Lee Parore he will return to the ring this year.
With one devastating right to Barrett's jaw, Cameron revived Kiwi boxing and established his credentials as New Zealand's marquee heavyweight prospect.
Cameron's manager, Kenny Reinsfield, believes the fourth-round knockout at SkyCity on Thursday will lead to a significant jump in rankings and a possible world title shot. Before Cameron's emphatic statement, Barrett was ranked 12th by the WBO.
"Shane was ranked sixth when he fought Tua [in 2009]," Reinsfield said. "I'd like to see him jump up and around that position. He deserves it."
Russians Denis Boytsov and Alexander Povetkin or Americans Seth Mitchell and Chris Arreola are being considered by Reinsfield as possible stepping stones to world champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Former British champion David Haye would be too expensive to bring Down Under while powerful American Hasim Rahman isn't ranked highly and, much like Tua, wouldn't be worth the risk and doesn't command the same rewards at this stage.
Other than financial benefits, a Tua rematch makes no sense for Cameron.
"It depends on availability but if Shane puts away another known fighter he will definitely be looked at as a world title contender," Reinsfield said.
"We will now look to bring down a well-ranked heavyweight."
Cameron needed to be fighting ranked boxers, he said, effectively bypassing Tua for now.
"You don't need a title eliminator fight. Champions have the opportunity to have voluntary defences. They don't have to fight the No1 mandatory. They can pick anyone in the top 15."
Duco Events promoter David Higgins believed Cameron's next fight against an overseas contender would generate worldwide interest.
Higgins paid Tua and Cameron $500,000 three years ago for the fight that set pay-per-view records. But he thought Cameron's next opponent wouldn't require the same lucrative purse.
"If Shane has an eliminator and performs like he did against Barrett, he's got a title shot," Higgins said.
"It is conceivable Cameron could fight for the heavyweight title within a year from now. Cameron has never been hotter than he is now. He is the sort of bloke who will back it up pretty quick.
"People think getting a title shot is voodoo. That's rubbish. Getting a title shot is very simple. It's about money. To get a top three opponent down here, it would be less money than what I paid for Tua-Cameron. Is it do-able? Hell yes, absolutely.
"That next fight against an overseas opponent will go global. It would be a home-grown event watched by a few hundred million people around the world."
Parore, meanwhile, revealed he is in talks with Tua. The pair last worked together before Tua's knockout victory over Cameron.
A Tua-Barrett trilogy was an option. "It might be a rebirth for both of them," Parore said.
"David and I have had a few coffees. He's in negotiations for a fight this year. David wants to get back into it and I'm more than happy to help him train. We've just got to get all the conditions right first. He has to commit long-term to the training process and financial details."
New Zealand boxing is alive and well.