BoxingScene.com reports that disgruntled former lightweight titleholder and current junior welterweight contender Nate Campbell is close to a split with Don King, and nearing a deal to sign with Golden Boy Promotions.
Campbell and King have been feuding and negotiating a buyout for the past few months. From what I understand, King will likely receive a six-figure buyout and in return he hands Campbell an early release. The deal between Campbell and Golden Boy could be finalized by next week.
Campbell has a purse bid next week for a fight with Kendall Holt, which pits a couple of explosive fighters around the same level right now in the 140-pound rankings. Campbell has been trying to get away from King for a while now, going public with some disparaging comments and making it clear he wanted out from under the aging promoter's control, feeling King was stunting his career. In some ways, Campbell has been snakebitten, and he really never got to capitalize on his upset win over Juan Diaz in 2008. But part of that is King's fault, too.
What's unfortunate is that Campbell (one of my favorite guys in the sport) may really never be able to capitalize, either. He turns 38 next March, and even before the bad cut that stopped his August bout with Timothy Bradley, he wasn't looking too good against a younger, faster man. 140 might be a hair too high for Campbell, and he just might be a bit too old.
But he's proven his grit and his toughness plenty by now, too, so it'd be a bad idea to count him out. I just get the feeling that Campbell and Golden Boy are coming together a little too late for them to make the most of it.