Campbell, Casamayor, Phillips and Bundrage: The Month that Was

Joel CasamayorBy Ted Sares

I beat Nate Campbell with three weeks of training. Now I want [Manny] Pacquiao.

--Joel Casamayor

I don’t want to sound conceited or overconfident but Juan Diaz is not a demigod. A demigod is half mortal, half god and I just don’t see that. Unless my team and I have been in this sport too long—or not long enough—we are seeing a lot of hype.

--Nate Campbell

I felt good, just a little rusty, that's all, I'm upset with myself. I let myself down.

--Corey Spinks

If it wasn’t for God putting me into boxing, then I wouldn’t be here today. I would probably be locked up or dead.

--Cornelius Bundrage

First, on March 8 of this year, Nate Campbell schooled Juan Diaz with superb focus and a great fight plan. Nate is 36 years old while the seemingly indestructible Diaz is 24. The “Galaxxy Warrior” won the IBF, WBA and WBO lightweight titles by a split decision though the judge who scored the fight in favor of “El Torito,” Ric Bays, should hold his head in shame.

Two weeks later on March 22, Michael “The Great” Katsidis, 27, met Joel “El Cepillo” Casamayor and many thought the 36 year old Cuban may have gone to the well once too often and was ripe for the picking. But “El Cepillo” proved them wrong by reverting to his old skilled self. After some sizzling ebb and flow including four knockdowns, he put the guy from down under well, down under, with a savage left hook.

On March 27, mandatory veteran challenger Verno Phillips, 42-11-1, won the IBF Junior middleweight title with an upset twelve-round decision over Cory Spinks, 36-5. Phillips won over the slick Spinks by SD. Verno is 38; Corey is 30. Phillips, who had two losses each to Kasim “The Dream” Ouma and Carl Sullivan (who retired in 1994 with a 12 (KO 8) - 9 (KO 7) mark), regained the belt he lost to Ouma in 2004.

Finally, on March 28, Kasim Ouma, 25-4-1, met Cornelius “K9” Bundrage, 27-3, in Salamanca, New York. Bundrage is 34 while “The Dream” is 29, albeit an “old” 29. KP took control down the stretch and won a close UD in a less than stirring ten rounder. It seemed Ouma lost it more than Bundrage won it.

Guys like Casamayor, Campbell and Bundrage all share something besides being older than their oponents (by an average of 8.5 years). They climbed the mountain the hard way by overcoming serious personal obstacles. Of course, Ouma’s story is worthy of a documentary, which is exactly what it’s getting in the Tribeca ESPN Sports Film Festival.

But back to March which was all about the older guys winning. Was it hype, inspired performances, fighters losing it overnight, the right guy winning in the first place, or something else?

Oh yes, throw in the Marquez-Vasquez classic, and Brian Vera’s shocking stoppage of Andy Lee and it just adds to the Month that Was.

What was it about March?

Article posted on 30.03.2008

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