By Lee Payton
Last night was a giant disappointment on every level. Junior Witter was injured in a pretty crappy fight with the solid Devon Alexander and decided to pull the plug after the 8th round of a fight he was losing. Then Nate Campbell calls it quits after Tim Bradley's skull collided with his eye. However, the lack of action was not the most frustrating part of the evening for me. It came when I logged onto some of my favourite boxing message boards and read hordes of unreasonable and disrespectful comments hurled at Campbell.
We're talking about a former World Champion and a stand-up guy in this case, but some supposed boxing fans can't give him the benefit of the doubt after watching that replay? Give me a break!
When the hardest part of the human body crashes into another person's eye socket there is going to be damage. Nate was left with a deep vertical cut, but that's not what he was complaining about. He was complaining about "spots" in his eye, which the doctor obviously thought was pretty serious because he stopped the fight. He also checked Campbell out further and ordered that he go to the hospital immediately.
The idea that a fan watching on TV can diagnose the issue is a complete joke. That was a nasty collision, which clearly had the potential to cause serious damage to a person's eye. We're not talking about blood from the cut impairing his vision, or even swelling. We're talking about actual damage done to the eye itself, which is a serious matter. If you can't admit that much, you are biased, plain and simple.
I've heard fans say the fact that Campbell motioned to the ref and fought back in the corner proves he could have gone on.
He was obviously messed up from it and was hanging in LIKE A FIGHTER when Bradley pounced on him. That's a truly moronic point of view. I'm sorry.
Bradley was winning the fight, but there is no doubt that the unintentional butt caused the most damage. Did anyone honestly think Nate was going to be just as quick on the trigger as Tim? He's the heavier handed guy who sets his feet and digs on the inside. Of course a quicker guy with a good jab and active feet is going to do good work in the early going! Nate's fight was in the middle and late rounds where his body work may have shown up.
Tim Bradley is a good fighter. I think he would have won anyway, but how can anyone say for sure after just 3 rounds? They can't.
Let's pretend that Campbell goes on with one eye, and gets beat up. Does anyone care that his eye was messed up?
How many people recall the sickening thumb that Roberto Duran dug into poor Davey Moore's eye (or Duran's lacing the blind fighter repeatedly) in the first round of their fight in 1983? I've talked to many fans about that fight and they all think it was a masterpiece. I'm the only one who brings up the fact that Moore was fighting with one eye. Look what happened him after that. Was it worth it?
Fans would have moved on like they are now with "Bradley would have won anyway".
It's not right.
That referee was totally incompetent, and it showed even before he blew the call. He disgraced himself further during the post-fight interview.
Boxing needs instant replay for exactly this type of situation. Officials in this sport have not earned the benefit of the doubt.
Sadly, I guess neither have the fighters.
Let's hope that we get a rematch. At the very least Nate Campbell deserves another shot on TV.
e-mail Lee Payton
Sunday, August 2, 2009
By Lee Payton