Monday, November 29, 2010

The Galaxxy Warrior Packs It In

Days after losing a decision to journeyman Walter Estrada, former lightweight titlist Nate "the Galaxxy Warrior" Campbell (33-7-1, 25 KOs) has announced his retirement. Campbell, who shocked undefeated unified lightweight title holder Juan Diaz to win three belts in 2008, was never able to capitalize on his success. In his next scheduled fight, Joan Guzman came in grossly overweight and refused to carry forward with the fight, plunging Campbell into bankruptcy. Following that, Campbell lost his titles on the scales against Ali Funeka, but managed to gut out a razor-thin majority decision (with the two knockdowns he scored -- including one clutch 11th round knockdown with the fight up for grabs -- proving the difference) in his last top-level performance. He ended his career with a no contest against Tim Bradley in a fight Bradley appeared to be dominating, then a loss to Victor Ortiz and Estrada. The time was right for him to hang the gloves up.

Campbell was one of those guys who I'm really glad won a title. Yes, he shot himself in the foot with some ill-advised showboating against Robbie Peden. But, putting that aside, Nate Campbell was a professional who worked hard everyday, took pride in what he did, and scrambled to the top of the sport the hard way. He started late, never really had anyone in his corner (his promoter, Don King, pretty much actively sabotaged his career), was the B-side of nearly every major fight he was in, but kept plugging away until he finally managed to wrap a belt around his waist. He says he wants to stay in the game as a trainer or commentator, and I think that sounds just fine. So while I'll miss him in the ring, I look forward to seeing him around boxing for many years to come.

Thanks, Nate -- and congratulations on a fine career.

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