Bradley Takes on the Dangerous Campbell on August 1st
By Matt Stein: World Boxing Organization light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (24-0, 11 KO’s) faces arguably his toughest opponent of his career in a fight against former IBF/WBA/WBO lightweight champion Nate Campbell (33-5-1, 25 KO’s) on August 1st at the Agua Caliente Casino, in Rancho Mirage, California. Campbell, a young 37, lost his titles on the scale in a fight against Ali Funeka in his last fight on February 14th. No longer able to make the lightweight limit without a severe struggle, Campbell opted to move up in weigh to the light welterweight division.
Despite having had no fights at light welterweight, Campbell was given the generous ranking of number #3 in the WBO and IBF and #7 in the WBA. The ranking positioned Campbell in front of notable fighters like Devon Alexander, Mike Alvarado, and Ricky Hatton.
Campbell went on to out-slug Funeka in his last fight, knocking him down in the 2nd and 11th rounds. However, Funeka outworked Campbell through most of the time and had there been no knockdowns, Funeka would have won the fight. Campbell blamed the poor performance on the hard work he had put in trying to melt down to the lightweight limit.
However, now that Campbell has moved up to the 140 pound light welterweight class, he shouldn’t have any more excuses needed. Campbell is known for his high work rate and his good power. He defeated Juan Diaz last year in a 12 round split decision victory in March 2008. Campbell took the fight to the younger Diaz, roughed him up and outworked him in the 2nd half of the fight.
Bradley, only 25, has looked nearly unbeatable in the year, beating Miguel Vazquez by a lopsided 12 round decision, Junior Witter by a 12 round split decision, Edner Cherry by a one-sided 12 round decision and most recently Kendall Holt by a 12 round decision in April. Vazquez, 22, is the same fighter that recently defeated Breidis Prescott by a 10-round split decision last Friday night.
Bradley easily defeated Vazquez without any trouble whatsoever, which seems to show the wide gulf between Bradley and fighters like Prescott and WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan. Bradley may have the best combination of hand speed and boxing ability in the light welterweight division.
Bradley may not be as powerful a puncher compared to fighters like Prescott, Victor Ortiz and Marcos Maidana, but he has the speed and the boxing skills that seems to set him apart from all the rest in the division. Bradley got off the deck in his fight against Holt to dominate him the rest of then way, controlling him with fast combinations.
Bradley is very mindful of the skills that Campbell will be bringing into the ring next week, having seen his fights against Funeka and Diaz and coming away very impressed with what he saw in those two fights. Bradley is incredulous how Campbell still can be fighting with so much skills and ability despite being close to 40 years old.
Campbell will be in a tough situation in this fight. He’s moving up in weight against arguably the best fighter in the division. Campbell will have problems against Bradley, because Timothy will crowd him and make him fight hard in close where Campbell is less skilled.
Prediction: Bradley by a 12 round decision.