Just as I was about to start putting this post together, I saw that Yahoo! Sports boxing analyst Kevin Iole had pretty much the same thoughts I was going to express.
Campbell doesn’t deserve the loss on his record.
Whatever the commission decides, though, won’t really matter. Because anyone watching the World Boxing Organization super lightweight title bout knows who the better man was in the nationally televised bout.
Those who saw the bout know who the faster man was.
Those who saw the bout know who the better defensive fighter was.
Those who saw the bout know who was dictating the pace and controlling the action.
Those who saw the bout know who was landing the sharper, harder punches.
It’s about time that Bradley gets serious consideration for a spot in the top 10 pound-for-pound rankings. He clearly was outclassing a high-caliber opponent.
I think the top 10 pound-for-pound talk might be a tad premature. After all, Nate Campbell is a tough, resilient guy. There is that chance that had the fight not been stopped because of the cut caused by the headbutt, Nate would have dug down deep and found a reserve of energy and life, and put a charge into Bradley. After all, Nate's a good (and underrated) puncher, a guy who can change a fight with a good flurry, and a legit fighter.
But was it going to happen? Judging by those few rounds, I don't think so, but then I didn't think he'd beat Juan Diaz in 2008, either. And it wasn't until the middle rounds that he started putting the hurt on Diaz in a big way.
Campbell deserves the decision to be changed to a no-contest. In my mind, there is not one shred of doubt about that. The rules are the rules. But does Bradley really need to fight him again? Campbell also probably deserves a rematch, but that doesn't mean it's all that interesting. Bradley's promoter, Gary Shaw, said they'd consider it if: (1) the money is right, and (2) Showtime wants to buy the fight.
Could you blame Showtime if they'd rather have something potentially more compelling? Timothy Bradley is not going to get a fight with current 140-pound world champion Manny Pacquiao, so you can count that out. And though 140 is a solid division, is there anyone really that much better than Campbell as a challenger?
Bradley's already beaten Kendall Holt convincingly despite suffering two knockdowns. Devon Alexander won the WBC title last night, but I think we can all agree that while Alexander is good and rising, he's not in Bradley's league just yet. Ricky Hatton could potentially be an option, but I'm not sure Hatton would want to fight such a fast, strong, young fighter at this stage of his career.
For the time being, Nate Campbell might well be the best option -- in terms of money and challenge -- that there is. And that just might be an unfortunate circumstance.