By John G. Thompson: This Friday at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Nate “The Galaxxy Warrior” Campbell (36-9-1, 26 KO’s, 1 NC) faces Kevin Bizier (19-0, 13 KO’s), a relative unknown to US boxing fans, but none the less he is an undefeated fighter in his prime, fighting in his home town, with a two inch (5 cm) height advantage, a six inch (15 cm) reach advantage, and proven knockout power. The “Galaxxy Warrior” is a former lightweight champion, but now at age 40 and having only won three of his last eight bouts, how much does Campbell have left?
Campbell’s best year came in 2008 and when he upset Juan Diaz (then 33-0) for the IBF, WBO and WBA Super World lightweight belts. Campbell won his next bout against Ali Funeka, who had a freakish six inch height advantage, but Campbell failed to make weight and thus lost his belts on the scale. Campbell next moved up in weight against WBO light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, however, a cut over Campbell’s eye caused a stop to the bout in the third which was later ruled a No Contest. Campbell was virtually shutout in his only bout of 2010 against Victor Ortiz in Madison Square Garden, and then lost two more fights in a row against Walter Estrada and Danny Garcia.
Campbell was nearly shut out by Garcia in Las Vegas before fighting two bouts in Russia, winning one and losing the other by technical decision. Campbell last fought in June of 2012 winning a unanimous decision in Poland and before that he stopped Victor Manuel Cayo in nine rounds in the Dominican Republic. Campbell of Jacksonville, Florida has faced eight previously undefeated fighters, including the likes of champions Danny Garcia, Tim Bradley, Juan Diaz, and Isaac Hlatshwayo.
His opponent Bizier has seven first round knockouts on his record and a 68% KO ratio. I wouldn’t go so far as to bet against someone with Campbell’s experience, however, especially since many of Bizier’s opponents have had less than stellar records – his last opponent was 16-22-1 and made it the full eight rounds against Bizier. Bizier has only been past eight rounds once, going twelve against one of the only recognizable names on his record, Lanardo Tyner, for the vacant NABA welterweight title. Campbell has fought about a dozen bouts which went ten rounds or more. Also, all nineteen of Bizier’s bouts took place in Canada whereas Campbell has fought all over the world.
As I said, I wouldn’t bet against Campbell, but I also won’t be betting on him. This will be Campbell’s first fight at welterweight. Matchmakers usually know what they’re doing and this twelve round bout is clearly meant to showcase Bizier to a larger audience against a former champion. While Campbell is certainly capable of pulling off the upset, after thirteen years as a pro, forty-seven bouts, and nearing the age of 41, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was one of the last times we see the “Galaxxy Warrior” in the ring. The bout will be broadcast on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” series.