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Nate Campbell-The Galaxxy Warrior


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Nate Campbell had for a long time seemed doomed to become one of those underachieving major talents, because of his wild antics and his sometimes-uneven performances, but in the latter stage of his career, he unexpectedly produced a major upset by defeating then-undefeated Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz and becoming a threefold world champion. However, due to problems with the weight, he was unable to hold on to those titles very long, but still he went on to defeat Ali Funeka and later on also Victor Manuel Cayo, then still considered a solid contender. Before that, he had one unsuccessful attempt at winning the IBF super feather title, losing to Robbie Peden, who also was the first man to knock him out before that. Cambell the Galaxxy Warrior was an all-around fighter who could both box and punch, had a long reach for his size and was tough and game and his only clean knockout loss came when he stood there with his hands down and got hit right on the jaw by Peden. True to his nickname, he was a warrior indeed.

 

Born 7 March 1972 in Jacksonville, Florida, Campbell stands 5'7 (170 cm) and with a reach of 70 inches or 178 cm. When he was 10 years old, his father died due to pneumonia and septic shock, so his mother had to raise him on her own for the rest of the years. He first started to box, but then drifted away from it for several years, before finally returning and turning pro at the ripe age of 28, 5 February 2000. Early on, Campbell fought mainly as a lightweight and sometimes super featherweight and scored 9 straight knockouts. In his 19th fight, he won the NABF super feather title by TKO4 against Alric Johnson, on 22 March 2002. On 14 September that year, he also won the NABO title by KO3 against Daniel Alicea, former opponent of Naseem Hamed and Acelino Freitas. He was now 23-0 when he faced his first true test in form of Joel Casamayor, the Cuban technical wizard and Olympic champion, on 25 January 2003 at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Casamayor proved just a bit too slick for him, but Nate still gave him a good fight and lost by an uneven unanimous decision. In his next fight, Campbell drew against Edelmiro Martinez, despite flooring him once. On 9 January 2004, he fought in the first eliminator for the IBF super feather title and beat Daniel Attah by UD12, after knocking him down three times. It was on 14 March that he then faced his arch-nemesis Robbie Peden of Australia. Peden was a tough technician not really known for his power, but Campbell got a bit too reckless and started clowning in the 5th round and ended up sticking his chin out with his guard down, as if offering Peden a free shot. Peden took the opportunity and nailed him with the hardest punch he could muster, a big left hook, and Campbell was down and out, unable to beat the count. Lesson learned.

 

He then faced Edelmiro Martinez again in another "eliminator for the 2nd spot" and after knocking Martinez down three times in the 2nd, Martinez was disqualified for low blows in round 4. He then went to Melbourne, Australia, to fight Peden again, this time for the vacant IBF title, 23 February 2005. This time the fight went on a bit longer, but Peden was ahead after 7 rounds, when he had Campbell in trouble against the ropes in the 8th and the referee stopped it with 7 seconds left in the round-somewhat prematurely perhaps. Campbell also had one point deducted for low blows in the 6th. After yet another unexpected setback, few would have thought Campbell at 33 would ever get any farther. He entered the ligtweight division and ater that year, on 14 June, he also dropped a split decision to Francisco Lorenzo, but then scored his first bigger victory when he stopped Almazbek Kid Diamond" Raiymkulov, who had given Casamayor a very hard fight previously. It was on 1 October same year and Campbell put the Kyrgyz down twice in the fifth and once in the tenth before the fight ended 34 seconds before the final bell. However, he then once again ran into a bump against Isaac Hlatshwayo on 7 April 2006 and lost a split decision in a very close fight, which was for the IBO title and another 2nd spot eliminator for the IBF title. He then beat Matt Zegan and Ricky Quiles by UD in IBF eliminator fights and stopped Wilson Alcorro by TKO6 in a minor fight, before getting a fight against then-number one guy in the division, Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz. Diaz held the WBA, IBF and WBO titles, having previously defeated Acelino Freitas, Julio Diaz and Lakva Sim to win them. He was known as a high pressure and punch output guy who made the first two guys quit. The fight was even in Mexico, at Plaza del Toros in Cancun, but that didn't deter Campbell, who knew this was his last big chance. On 8 March 2008, he produced the biggest upset of the year by bullying Diaz and frequently beating him to the punch and also cutting him over the left eye in round 5, before winning by SD in the end. However, the judge that scored it for Diaz only gave him the fight by one point, while the two judges that scored it for Campbell had it 116-112 and 115-1112. Campbell also got one point deducted, suspiciously, for an alledged headbutt. According to Compubox, Campbell connected on 414 punches to 288 for Diaz.

 

Unfortunately, after that fight, Campbell was inactive too long and had put on too much weight, which he then failed to lose enough of by the first defense, which happened on 14 February 2009, in Sunrise, Florida. His titles were therefore not on the line for him and only his opponent, the 6'1 Ali Funeka, could win them. That was a pity, for Campbell went on to drop Funeka twice and win by majority decision in the end. Campbell had announced before the fight this would be his last fight at 135 and he entered 140 division. In his very first fight there, he faced Timothy Bradley for his WBO title, but the fight ended after only 3 rounds, after Campbell got cut over the left eye. The result was a no-contest. He was mostly unsuccessful for the rest of his career, except when he on 24 March 2012 managed to stop Victor Manuel Cayo by TKO9. After being stopped by RTD4 against Terry Flanagan in 2013, he had one last fight on 29 March 2014 and beat the journeyman Gilbert Venegas by UD8. He was 42 when he finally retired, with a record of 37 wins, 26 inside the distance, 11 losses and 1 draw. He now trains Muay Thai fighters.

 

Nate Campbell was the epitome of warrior boxer and a boxer-puncher who always gave it all in the ring, but his ego sometimes got the better of him-like in the first Peden-fight. Problems with making the weight surely ruined his career in the end, just as it had hit its brightest spot. He was a tough cookie and a never say die fighter for sure. The Galaxxy Warrior.

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--- Talented, but not elite talent. Showboating without elite talent problematic as his career proves.

 

That Peden fight exposed those limitations. Interesting fighter nonetheless.

 

Yeah...he was what they call a "B plus fighter", definitely. ALMOST elite level, but not enough discipline I guess...

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