14.2.09

Nate Campbell vs. Ali Funeka: Round by Round

Ali Funeka is a tall dude. He's 6'1" to Nate Campbell's 5'7".

This is a battle of somewhat creative nicknames. "Rush Hour" versus "The Galaxxy Warrior"

Funeka has a fourth-round KO over Zahir Raheem to his credit. Raheem has fought some decent names here and there but his career has been inconsistent. So it's hard to say what that win means. I haven't gotten a chance to see that fight yet, so Funeka is an undiscovered country for me.

Nate, too, has been inconsistent as everyone knows. He has had good efforts against the likes of Joel Casamayor, Juan Diaz and Kid Diamond and then has dropped some fights he probably should have won.

Here we go.

Round 1
Funeka kind of looks like Paul Williams in this fight. Nate is certainly moving forward and throwing extremely hard to the body. Funeka pumps the jab consistently. Nate has a good jab too. Nice right by Nate upstairs. He has pushed Funeka back to the ropes a few times. So far this has been an interesting and entertaining fight. Campbell is his usual aggressive and active self and Funeka isn't being shy either.

Uatu: Campbell 10-9

Round 2
Nate doesn't get cheated in his shots. He puts a lot of steam into his blows, body and head. Nate doing a decent job of picking off Funeka jabs as he works his way in. Funeka goes triple jab, all blocked. Nate gets in a big time right that has Funeka in some trouble. Nate chases him to the ropes. He works him back to the middle of the ring and down goes Funeka! Huge overhand rights from Nate. Bombs away. Funeka escapes.

Uatu: Campbell 10-8

Round 3
It was another huge overhand right that knocked funeka down, just like the punch that stumbled him. Bob Papa refers to the punches as "roundhouse rights," which is a good description. Funeka isn't discouraged. He is still in it to win it. He continues to jab and jab and move away. Nate gets him against the ropes and you can hear the body shots booming. There's a 1-2 from Funeka. Nate is not throwing quite as often, but when he gets in close he is ripping away. Nate has fallen in love with his big overhand and Funeka isn't having it this time. That round could have gone either way. Nate was strong in the beginning but kind of petered out.

Uatu: Funeka 10-9

Round 4
Harold Lederman likes Nate 3-0 so far. All kinds of jabs from Funeka. Nate has that good high guard though. Funeka showing a lot of movement. Nate really throwing sparingly. At this point it looks like Funeka has recovered completely. He is throwing consistently. Another big right from Nate misses. Lennox Lewis comments on Nate's lack of activity versus the high output from Funeka. There's some hard body leather from Nate. Not sure it's enough though.

Uatu: Funeka 10-9

Round 5
Four punches from Funeka that get blocked. It's strange to score this because Funeka is so active but is really getting the vast majority of his punches blocked, and Nate isn't really throwing but is keeping up the pressure. Nate continues to move forward but he keeps missing the huge right. Nate moves in to phone booth distance but doesn't get in too many before Funeka dances away. Jabs from Funeka, body shots from Nate.

Uatu: Funeka 10-9

Round 6
Nate runs right in at the bell. Campbell is starting out active. He does not want to give Funeka an inch of space. Hook to the body from Funeka. Jabs from Nate, who is moving in faster this round. Both men are in great condition. Nice jab from Nate high and then to the chest. Double right hooks to the body from Nate. He backs Funeka up. Funeka gets out with no trouble. Double hooks from Funeka. Nate is just more active and effective than the previous few rounds. I liked Nate's effort in this round. I thought he landed the more solid blows.

Uatu: Campbell 10-9

Round 7
Harold has it three rounds each and Nate up by a point. Triple jabs and changing levels from Funeka. Double jab from Funeka. Four punches from Funeka. He is looking more and more Williams-like as this goes on. He is hugely tall for his weight and all kinds of busy and mobile, and he has some decent skills to boot. There's a little more posing in this round, but Funeka stays active. Nate is having trouble this round really getting in there through Funeka's flurries. Nate gets Funeka to stumble, although it may have been a trip or stumble instead of a scattered brain wobble.

Uatu: Funeka 10-9

Round 8
Close quarters fighting in the middle of the ring. Campbell is winging away to the body. Both of these guys are in great shape. Campbell backing up a little bit now. Maybe he is setting a trap for the overhand again. Funeka doesn't take the bait and fly all the way in. He is content to throw punches from the outside. A slip, no knockdown by Funeka. Nate will not be denied. He is pressing Funeka up against the ropes. Funeka has his moments too. Another close round. Funeka throws more, Campbell probably lands harder.

Uatu: Campbell 10-9

Round 9
When they show the slo-mo replays, it looks like maybe Funeka is having more success landing than it appeared. Harold has Funeka up one at this point. I am interested to see the stats to see exactly how many punches Funeka has been throwing. Lennox wants something, anything different from Nate to switch things up. He tries the huge overhand again and Funeka does not get hit with it. Nice body shots from Funeka now. He throws a jab to get the hands up, then wings to the body like cCampbell has been doing. Max thinks Nate looks tired. Funeka threw nearly 100 punches this round.

Uatu: Funeka 10-9

Round 10
Harold has given Funeka six rounds in a row. He, too, thinks Nate is tired. Perhaps the weight struggle has taken some of the energy out of Nate. It's not like Nate has stopped throwing, it's just that Funeka is super active. Funeka does the jab and then hook to the body. They are right up against each other in the middle. Nate is trying to smother Funeka, who does look a bit crisper than Nate. Campbell is doing a lot of leaning on Funeka. Lots of jabs both ways. Nate not giving up at all. Funeka just has more in the tank, it appears.

Uatu: Funeka 10-9

Round 11
I really like both of these guys. Campbell is coming out big this round. He is raking the body and trying to hook high. Funeka does block the head shots. They are in the phone booth again. Nate is really crowding him. Funeka doing the jab and away and some spinning. Funeka has slowed but is still pretty active. Nate lands a huge right again. Funeka falls into Nate. Campbell gets out of the way and down goes Funeka again! Funeka is looking extra shaky with 45 seconds yet to play out. He is grabbing like he should. Funeka throws but he is spending a lot of time running and covering. Ten seconds to go and Funeka is shaky but gets out again. Big round for Nate!

Uatu: Campbell 10-8

Round 12
It was that same overhand right. He had continued to try it and it paid off in Round 11. I have to hand it to Campbell. He continued and continued and he got it. Funeka starts throwing. Nate lands a right. Funeka holding on. He may still be shaky. Nate is smothering him and leaning in, strafing the body with both hands. Funeka is trying to keep his guard super tight. Lots of holding. Nate gets in a right. Funeka throwing really only to keep Nate honest. He seems most concerned with surviving. Nate is really going to the body, but he looks gassed maybe too. One minute to go. Nate goes both hands to the body. Thirty seconds to go. Funeka gets off a flurry of sorts. Nate looks to move in with 10 to go. That's it.

Uatu: Campbell 10-9

That was a great fight to watch with lots of intrigue. I would watch both guys again.

Uatu scores it 114-112 Campbell. Lederman has it 113-113. The judges score it 113-113 and 115-111 and 114-112 for Campbell. The winner by majority decision... Nate "The Galaxxy Warrior" Campbell.

Nate is headed up to 140, so Funeka may indeed get a title chance again soon.

Funeka is crying in the ring. He gave a great effort. Hopefully he resurfaces.

Max interviews Nate. Nate says Funeka was tough, strong, physical, and can take a punch. His day will come. He also says Funeka used his length to keep away.

Was the weight an issue with fatigue? Nate says it was in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. He is going to have fun at 140.

Nate says he is hurt to have to leave the belts on the scale. He is emotional about it. Campbell is showing a lot of heart and class.

Nate Campbell is great for the sport and I am very excited about him at 140. He is exciting, he has determination, he comes in shape and he has strength and skills.

5 comments:

uatu said...

rafael said in his late night chat tonight that he too had it 114-112 campbell and he also had martinez winning for what it's worth.

The Franchise said...

I enjoy watching Campbell fight and love his honesty, I just think it was a really bad look to call out Joan Guzman for being unprofessional and failing to make weight, then going and doing it himself... in his very next fight!

Regardless, I would much rather see boxers fight where they are comfortable than kill themselves trying to cut to an unrealistic weight class, so I'm glad Nate is headed to 140.

uatu said...

at least nate still fought. guzman wouldn't even fight. nate did not prevent funeka from a payday.

The Franchise said...

Well put. And like I said, he's doing the right thing acknowledging that he should be fighting in the next class up. I'll still be looking forward to his next fight.

uatu said...

there's torres, holt, bradley, hatton, manny, urango, maybe paulie, less so witter. all kinds of guys for him to fight