Former three-body lightweight titlist Nate Campbell won a war of attrition against tough South African Ali Funeka in tonight's main event in Sunrise, Florida, winning a majority decision (114-112, 115-111, 113-113) after knocking Funeka down in the second and eleventh rounds. Bad Left Hook scored the fight 115-111 for Campbell.
The 6'1" Funeka acquitted himself quite nicely on the world stage, and was overcome by emotion after the fight, crying in his corner. His corner told him they have nothing to be ashamed of, and they're absolutely correct. He tested Campbell and gave him a real fight, and he recovered well from both knockdowns. Here's hoping HBO and Showtime give him some attention in the future. He's a quality contender.
Campbell appeared gut-shot by his inability to make weight, apologizing very sincerely and stating his intention to move up to 140 pounds. As Max Kellerman said, he's instantly one of the division's most attractive names.
On the undercard, Sergio Martinez and Kermit Cintron went to a majority draw in a fight I thought Martinez clearly won. The fight was plagued by a strange seventh round incident. Cintron went down from a left hand he genuinely believed he was a headbutt, and referee Frank Santore counted him out, and appeared to have called the fight off. Replays showed that Cintron had made it to his feet before the count of ten, and he was incensed that it was (1) called a knockdown, and he was wrong there, and (2) that he appeared to have been counted out, which he was right about.
The fight, which had been an ugly clash of styles before the incident, picked up after it was surprisingly restarted. The draw, I feel, robs Martinez of a win, but neither man exactly made an entertaining fight. Bad Left Hook scored it 117-109 for Martinez. The official judges' scores were 113-113 twice and 116-110 for Martinez.
In the TV opener, Alfredo Angulo punished Cosme Rivera for four-plus rounds before finally the commission stopped it in the fifth. The referee should have stepped in well before that. Rivera actually lost a pound overnight, putting him at a 15-pound weight disadvantage in the ring. He was game, but his corner and the referee let him take way too much punishment, even after he openly admitted to being tired.
We'll have much more tomorrow on the fights. Thanks to everyone who joined us for the round-by-round. We'll be back for a two-card weekend starting Friday.