20/20 Hindsight: Nate Campbell May Be the Unluckiest Man in Boxing, Plus Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander Impress

Poor Nate Campbell. The Galaxxy Warrior may seriously be the unluckiest man in boxing.

Or at least he's been up for that honor over the last 18 months. Since his thrilling lightweight title win against Juan Diaz in March 2008, little has gone right for him.

His first title defense was supposed to be against Joan Guzman, but his foe failed to make weight and then refused to fight at all. Nate claims that cost him $400,000, and he subsequently filed for bankruptcy.

This February, he was ready to put his titles up against Ali Funeka, but he didn't make weight and lost his belts on the scale. Granted, that was bad luck of his own making, but still. At least he (barely) won that fight.

That brings us to this past Saturday and his bout with 140-pound titleholder Timothy Bradley. The record reflects that he suffered a third-round TKO, but it sure didn't look that way to these eyes.

At issue was a nasty cut Campbell suffered near his left eye early in the third round. Replays backed up Nate's version of the story, which is that he suffered it after an accidental clash of heads. The ref thought otherwise, Bradley spent the rest of the round beating on Campbell, and the fight was stopped before the fourth.

It's probably impossible to know for sure if the headbutt caused the cut, but my brother Uatu said something at dinner last night that was very true: in the hundreds of fights we've both watched, it's not too often a cut like Campbell's gets opened up by a punch.

Campbell's team will certainly appeal, and as Dougie Fischer wrote after the fight, there's probably some chance the loss could get changed to a no decision. During his angry post-fight interview, Nate seemed more upset about the TKO loss going on his record than anything else.

I'm hoping the decision is reversed, as Campbell is no spring chicken at 37 and is running out of time and chances. He's been too much fun to watch in the ring to have his career peter out like this.

Even if Campbell gets his wish, he may not get a rematch with Bradley. Gary Shaw sure didn't sound too anxious to do it when asked by Jim Gray after the match.

And maybe we don't need to see one anyway. Bradley won all three rounds and may have just cruised to an easy decision if not for the cut. I'm not quite as high on Desert Storm as some people, but you have to hand it to him for continuing to get it done.

After seeing all of his fights in 2008 and 2009, my opinion of Bradley hasn't changed. He's not elite in any one area, but he's good enough at everything that he has no obvious weaknesses to exploit.

He has quick hands but not the highlight film speed of a Manny Pacquiao. He's defensively aware but not a master like Bernard Hopkins. And he clearly doesn't have a ton of one-punch power, but he's no slapper and can get opponents' attention with head or body shots.

One thing I do agree with is Bradley's self-assessment that he can move all day. His footwork was excellent on Saturday and he always comes into fights in tremendous shape.

It's still just a little hard for me to think of Bradley as the top dog in his division, but with the old guard at 140 fading away and Pacquiao just passing through, maybe he is. You can't argue with his results.

Bradley may have some other young guys to match up with him over the next few years (Lamont Peterson, Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana come to mind), and one of them could be the winner of Saturday's co-feature. Devon Alexander faced a stiff test in Junior Witter and passed it with flying colors.

Yes, Witter claimed after the fight that he had injured his hand during the fight, leading to a strange stoppage. And the fans weren't too pleased with what they were seeing either.

But let's face it: there aren't many fighters trickier to face than Witter. The Brit has one of the most unusual fighting styles around, leaping in to punch and quickly grabbing to avoid counter shots. He also constantly switches stances from orthodox to southpaw and back.

Alexander showed a lot of patience when presented with that puzzle, picking his spots well. He caught Witter with a few hooks and straight lefts that did some damage, and he seemed to be growing in confidence as the fight went on.

He should certainly be right in the mix at junior welterweight, and could very well end up as serious competition for Bradley after another fight or two.

Posted by The Franchise

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