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Bradley-Campbell: Head to head

30
Jul

TIMOTHY BRADLEY vs. NATE CAMPBELL

When: Saturday, Aug. 1

Where: Agua Caliente Casino, Rancho Mirage, Calif.

TV: Showtime, 9 p.m. ET (live) / 9 p.m. PT (delayed)



Weight: Junior welterweight (140 pounds)

Title(s) at stake: Bradley’s WBO

Also on the card: Junior Witter vs. Devon Alexander, 12 rounds, for vacant WBC junior welterweight title

BRADLEY

The essentials

Age: 27

Height / Reach: 5-6 (168 cm) / 69 (175 cm)

Hometown: Palm Springs, Calif.

Turned pro: 2004

Record: 24-0 (11 knockouts)

Trainer: Joel Diaz

Fight-by-fight: http://www.boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=268173&cat=boxer

The Ring rating: No. 1 junior welterweight (behind champion Manny Pacquiao)

Titles: WBC junior welterweight (2008-09; stripped; WBO junior welterweight (2009-current).

Biggest victories: Junior Witter, May 10, 2008, SD 12 (takes Witter’s WBC title); Kendall Holt, April 4, 2009, UD 12 (takes Holt’s WBO title).

CAMPBELL

The essentials

Age: 37

Height / reach: 5-7 (170 cm) / 72 (183 cm)

Hometown: Tampa, Fla. (from Jacksonville, Fla.)

Turned pro: 2000

Record: 33-5-1 (25 knockouts)

Trainer: John David Jackson

Fight-by-fight: http://www.boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=33494&cat=boxer

The Ring rating: None

Titles: WBA, IBF and WBO lightweight, (WBA vacated; IBF, WBO stripped)

Biggest victories: Juan Diaz, March 8, 2008, SD 12 (takes Diaz’s IBF, WBA and WBO titles); Ali Funeka, Feb. 14, 2009, MD 12 (loses title for failing to make weight).

Biggest losses: Robbie Peden, March 14, 2004, KO 5 (IBF junior lightweight title eliminator); Peden, Feb. 23, 2005, TKO 8 (for vacant IBF junior lightweight title); Isasc Hlatshwayo , April 7, 2006, SD 12 (IBF lightweight title eliminator).

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Skills: Both Bradley and Campbell can be described as aggressive boxers with solid fundamentals and above average power and hand speed. However, the 37-year-old veteran is the more technically proficient of the two fighters. Bradley has a decent jab and a very good counter right hand, but he relies more on his physical conditioning and will power to overwhelm his opponents than his skill. Campbell has better foot placement (especially when punching) and his experience has given him a wider arsenal and more versatility than his 25-year-old opponent. Campbell is comfortable working his stiff jab and boxing from a distance but he’s equally at home battling on the inside. Campbell is also an excellent body puncher and he has decent head and upper-body movement to help him avoid punches as he closes in on his opponents’ midsections.
Edge: Campbell

Power: Neither fighters possesses one-punch knockout power, but both deliver damaging blows from either hand. Both fighters are good at setting up their straight rights, which is their hardest punch, but both also pride themselves on their hooks and body work. Bradley delivers harder single blows to the body but Campbell is more consistent with his body attack. Bradley scored some impressive stoppages while on the Southern California club show circuit but hasn’t scored a knockout since stepping up his level of opposition two years ago. Campbell was known for his power when he fought at junior lightweight but he has knocked out fewer opponents since stepping up in weight. The two knockdowns Campbell scored in his last fight, a majority decision over Ali Funeka, were the difference in that close encounter. However, Campbell’s power is untested against a world-class junior welterweight.
Edge: Even

Speed and athletic ability: All one has to do is take a look at Bradley’s sculpted body to know that he’s a world-class athlete in his prime. His edge in speed is due primarily to his youth (as Campbell has slowed down a bit in recent years) and his natural ability (reflexes and hand-eye coordination) is superior to the veteran, who relies more on his technique and timing.
Edge: Bradley

Defense: Bradley is by no means an easy target for any opponent, but his aggressive nature and his tendency to keep his left hand low invites getting caught by straight-punching orthodox fighters (like Campbell). Campbell’s cagey nature and tighter technique make him harder to nail with flush shots to the chin.
Edge: Campbell

Experience: Campbell’s 39-bout pro record is dotted with prospects, contenders, title holders and champs. Since he upset Carlos Navarro in 2002, Campbell has been in with the likes of Joel Casamayor, Juan Diaz, Kid Diamond, Isaac Hlashwayo, Robbie Peden, Funeka and Ricky Quiles. Bradley has two world-class names on his ledger, Junior Witter and Kendall Holt.
Edge: Campbell

Chin: Although Bradley was dropped twice in his last fight (vs. Holt) and Campbell has been knocked out twice (by Peden), both fighters have solid whiskers. Holt, a lighting fast counter-puncher with underrated power, caught Bradley coming in with a vicious left hook in the first round of their encounter but the Palm Springs native got up from the hard knockdown with a clear head. Campbell was on his way to stopping Peden during their first fight when he foolishly dropped his hands and offered a free shot at his chin (which Peden took full advantage of, scoring a one-punch KO). Campbell was severely weight drained from making the 130-pound limit and simply didn’t have the legs to defend himself in his rematch with Peden.
Edge: Even

Conditioning: Bradley is obsessed with his physical fitness. There isn’t a single floor exercise or facet of a boxer’s conditioning that he skimps on, whether it's running or bag work or sparring or weight training; few fighters put in the kind of overtime Bradley does in preparing his body for the rigors of the ring.
Edge: Bradley

Wear and tear: From his battles with the scale to his tough 12-round affairs with Funkea, Diaz and Hlashwayo, Campbell’s aging body has experienced more punishment than Bradley’s 25-year-old body.
Edge: Bradley

Corner: Joel Diaz (older brother of former lightweight titlist Julio and former junior welterweight contender Antonio) has a good rapport with Bradley and an excellent understanding of the sport. The former fighter is an underrated boxing coach who will likely make a name for himself in the coming years. However, he’s not yet in the class of Campbell’s trainer, John David Jackson. The former two-division titleholder, who has worked with the likes of Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley, is a defensive specialist with a keen eye for breaking down styles and coming up with effective ring strategies.
Edge: Campbell

Outcome: The early rounds of this interesting matchup will likely be contested from a distance as both fighters look to establish their jabs in order to set up their hard right hands. Campbell’s longer reach and better timing may give him the edge from a distance; it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for Bradley to get caught and buzzed by a straight right in the early going. If that happens, look for Bradley to make adjustments and take the fight to the older man in an attempt to wear him down. Although Bradley is not as complete an infighter as Campbell, he has the strength to tie up and frustrate the veteran with grappling tactics. Emboldened by his mid-fight success in close, Bradley will add just enough lateral movement to his offense in order to force the aging fighter to continually reset his feet in the late rounds. An in-and-out-moving Bradley will attempt to score from mid-range with body-head combinations. Some shots will land, others will miss or be blocked, but Campbell will have a difficult time getting off with his own punches because Bradley will tie him up once he gets inside.
Prediction: Bradley by close, perhaps controversial decision

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