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15 NOVEMBER 2018


Bradley Retains Title With Controversial Three Round Stoppage of Campbell

By Michael Norby: Undefeated WBO junior welterweight world champion Timothy Bradley successfully defended his title on Saturday night after he stopped former lightweight world title holder Nate Campbell in controversial fashion at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, California, USA.

Bradley 25-0 (12) wowed his hometown fans with a terrific display of ferocious boxing through three rounds and he rarely allowed his challenger to find opportunities for the short duration of the contest. He raked Campbell 33-6-1 (25) with blistering combinations in each round but, in the third, a blatant clash of heads opened a horrible gash above veteran’s left eye.

Referee David Mendoza ruled that a punch caused the damage and, after the contest was stopped at the end of the round due to vision problems suffered by Campbell, the former lightweight champion was rightly shocked that Bradley was ruled the winner instead of the no-decision that should have been called.

Before the fight Campbell promised Showtime’s Jim Grey that he would punish his opponent and he emerged for the opening round aggressively. He missed with a pair of big punches but pressured the champion and fought well on the inside throughout the round. Bradley’s speed was evident, however, and he scored with three and four punch combinations as Campbell snarled at him, shook his head and continued to press forward.

Both fighters traded to begin the second but the champion’s speed was telling and he out-landed Campbell early. Still, though, Campbell came forward and scored with several short digging punches midway through the frame, but Bradley was fighting in a clever fashion – scoring on the inside and zipping out before Campbell could respond adequately.

Bradley ripped his opponent with a prolonged and vicious assault against the ropes at the start of the third round. Campbell complained that a head butt started the offensive surge but referee David Mendoza was having none of it and the former lightweight champion spent 90 seconds absorbing lightning quick combinations from Bradley – responding with single and ineffective counters. Campbell emerged from that episode with a jagged and long gash above his left eye and the bloodied veteran was further attacked later in the round as the champion hammered him with thunderous power – worsening the damage to Campbell’s eye.

After the round, Campbell complained that he couldn’t see and Mendoza waved the contest off. Whilst television replays seemed to show a head butt did indeed cause the damage, Mendoza told Campbell that a punch was to blame and thus awarded the hometown fighter a stoppage victory – much to Campbell’s disgust.

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