Nate Campbell-Joan Guzman - Can "The Galaxxy Warrior" Keep His Belts?

by James Slater: Set to meet in an extremely intriguing world title fight at lightweight on September 13th (venue still to be determined), are defending champion Nate Campbell and the unbeaten challenger Joan Guzman. What we have in store here is a very hard match-up from which to pick a winner..

36-year-old Campbell, who shocked the previously unbeaten Juan Diaz last time out to claim the IBF, WBA and WBO 135 pound belts, is the older man by four years and he has had quite a few more fights than Guzman. Will the man from The Dominican Republic prove to be the fresher fighter? This is a possibility, after all the age of 36 is quite advanced for a lower weight class fighter. Then again, Campbell looked great and full of energy against the much younger (age 24) Diaz back in March. Indeed, in that bout "The Galaxxy Warrior" finished the fight the much stronger man.

It was thought by some that the stoppage defeats he had suffered at the hands of Robbie Peden (one of which was Nate's own fault, as he foolishly dropped his hands and let Robbie belt him!) might have taken a lot out of Campbell. His turning back the clock and winning so impressively against Diaz proved such thinking to have been wrong. But how long can the 36-year-old keep defying Father Time?

Guzman may only be four years younger, but he has had none of the gruelling fights the reigning and 32-5-1(25) lightweight champion has engaged in. In fact, the talented fighter who now lives in Brooklyn, New York has won a number of his fights when putting forth less than 100 percent effort. Guilty of coasting somewhat in his fight with Jorge Barrios, for example, Guzman may well have saved himself for future, tougher, fights. With no wear and tear to speak of, despite the fact he has gone twelve rounds in six of his last seven fights, Guzman will surely have limitless stamina on which to call on in the Campbell fight. Some people even say we have yet to see the very best of the WBO super-featherweight champion who will be moving up in weight in September.

Not a devastating puncher, but still a man who can get your attention with one of his accurate shots, Guzman has earned only 17 KO's from his 28 straight wins. And while Floridian Campbell has been stopped before, it's unlikely the man moving up in weight to challenge him will put him away. And of course, Campbell, also a former 130 pound operator, will be so much more used to boxing at lightweight - having moved up to 135 back in 2005. Will extra strength be the key to who wins this fight?

Campbell is coming off his excellent win over Juan Diaz, while Guzman is coming off a fine win himself with his points win over the tough Humberto Soto. But while Campbell's win came this March, Guzman has not fought since last November. This brings in the possibility that ring-rust may be yet another factor in September's fight. Guzman was all but in the country to face the U.K's Alex Arthur, only for the fight to fall apart at the eleventh hour. Will the ring absence he was forced to undergo affect the challenger?

There are many questions going into this fight, and as such it is one helluva tough one to pick. Only hesitantly, this writer goes with Joan Guzman to pick up a very close, and maybe even slightly controversial, points win.

Article posted on 09.07.2008

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