By Manuel Perez: When Manny Pacquiao (47-3-2, 36 KOs) was in the process of beating David Diaz last Saturday night to win his WBC lightweight title, a question that was somehow overlooked by the boxing world was why was Pacquiao fighting Diaz, considered to be the weakest of the lightweight champions, rather than Nate Campbell, the fighter considered to be the best by far in the division. The word circulating around the boxing community is that Campbell was considered too dangerous for Pacquiao, and that he would have beaten him.
Having seen Campbell fight on many occasions, I’d have to agree with that opinion. Campbell would be simply too strong for Pacquiao, and could counter him and break him down in the fight, much like Erik Morales did in his first fight with Pacquiao in March 2005.
A lot of people believe the same as I do, that Campbell would easily beat Pacquiao if given the chance. Don’t hold your breath on waiting for that to happen, because it won’t. Let me say this once: Pacquiao will never fight Campbell. Not in this lifetime, that is. Campbell is on another level, too sturdy, too strong and with too much stamina and boxing skills to risk putting Pacquiao in with.
Its okay for Pacquiao to be matched against fighters like Diaz, whose claim to fame is that he beat a badly over-the-hill and weight-drained Erik Morales, or an older Marco Antonio Barrera, but if you consider putting him with a life dog like Campbell, you better strike that thought from your head, for it’s not going to happen. First of all, Campbell has too much power for Pacquiao, and would take the fight to him right off the bat, hurting him with shots to the head. Unlike the Pacquiao’s recent bout with Diaz, he couldn’t dance around Campbell, hoping to hit him with right hooks like he did with David Diaz.
Campbell would close the distance, forcing Pacquiao to exchange with him. I noticed that Pacquiao would retreat backwards every time that Diaz would come forward, giving ground and hitting him while going backwards. This wouldn’t work with Campbell, who usually comes forward behind his long jab, something that Diaz failed to do against Pacquiao. This would mean that Pacquiao wouldn’t be able to get off the hook by retreating backwards, and would get hit in the face each time he does this. With this avenue cut off, Pacquiao would have to try and use lateral movement to neutralize Campbell’s superior power.
This, too, wouldn’t work because Campbell is quite adept at cutting off the ring on his opponents, and would intercept Pacquiao as he tried to maneuver around him. With these two options taken away from him, Pacquiao would only have one choice, either slug it out with Campbell for face a slow painful beat down one punch at a time. I figure Pacquiao would then elect to try and stand and trade with Campbell, even without his trainer’s advice. While we’re on the subject of trainers, I noticed that Pacquiao rarely gave his trainer Freddie Roach much of his attention in between rounds of the Diaz fight.
Instead, Pacquiao seemed solely focused on watching his slow motion high lights rather than listening to the advice given him. I foresee the same thing happening if Pacquiao were to have to face Campbell. Pacquiao would be too busy looking at himself on one of the large monitors mounted in the arena, or looking at the crowd, and would miss out on some valuable advice being given to him by his excellent trainer. Even with the advice, however, Pacquiao would have little chance at beating Campbell, but at least by actively paying attention to his trainer, he might stand a small chance of beating Campbell.
Pacquiao’s only real chance at beating Campbell would be to stand and trade with him at close range, and hope and pray that he can somehow open a bad cut on the face of Campbell, one so bad that the fight is ultimately stopped. Without that, or perhaps a landing a lucky punch, Pacquiao will get blown out of the water by the bigger, stronger Campbell. He’s simply not big enough to stand in with him for long, and would be thoroughly beaten and broken down by Campbell over the course of the bout. If Campbell can make easy work of Juan Diaz, one of the best fighters in all of boxing, he’d make an easier job of Pacquiao, who I rate a level below Juan Diaz in ability.
If Pacquiao were to ever face Campbell, I’d be willing to guess that it wouldn’t take place until 3-4 years in the future, when Campbell, who is currently 36.