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Author Topic: Nate Campbell happy being the Underdog  (Read 1381 times)
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« on: August 01, 2009, 10:26:26 AM »

Inside the ring, Nate Campbell always feels angry.

Outside of it, he often feels the same way. Part of it is his rough upbringing in several Jacksonville foster homes. But another part is that he feels a lack of respect.

Campbell, the former undisputed lightweight champion, is a 2-1 underdog tonight against WBO junior welterweight champ Timothy Bradley. Campbell expects to win the 12-round title bout at sold-out Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, Calif., but he isn't surprised most of the boxing world predicts otherwise.

"I've had so many fights where people thought the other fighter was going to smash me, and it didn't work out that way," said Campbell (33-5-1, 25 KOs). "I love that the other guy across the ring doubts me. I love that the fans doubt me. I'll prove them all wrong."

The undefeated Bradley (24-0, 11 KOs) doesn't agree and said Campbell's the one who has it wrong.

"He says he has seen it all, but he hasn't seen the youth, the speed that I bring," Bradley said. "He hasn't seen nothin' like me."

The fight is not only a contrast in styles - Bradley's a boxer, and Campbell's a puncher - but in age. At 37, Campbell is 12 years older than his quicker opponent.

But Campbell, who didn't turn pro until his late 20s, said he's in the best shape of his life and uses his age as motivation and a sense of urgency.

"I really don't understand why people worry about my age," Campbell said. "A lot of people are saying, 'He's getting old. He's getting long in the tooth.' They've been saying that about me for years. But I take care of my body. You know, fighters are fighting longer and better than ever these days."

At the same, Campbell is realistic about his future, saying "If I lose, I don't get another shot. That's why every time I fight, I fight with reckless abandon."

This will be Campbell's first bout at 140 pounds. He previously fought as a lightweight (135 pounds), but he failed to make weight before his title defense earlier this year against Ali Funeka. The bout went on as scheduled, and Campbell won a majority decision, but he was forced to give up his lightweight crowns.

"This is the weight I should be at," said Campbell, who weighed in at 1381/2 pounds. "As you get older, you can shrink down only so much. You lose power. I'm as strong now at 140 as I've ever been."

Campbell will also be facing a hostile crown. The fight is just a few minutes away from Bradley's hometown of Palm Springs. Campbell's using that as motivation, too.

"The people there think he's going to win," Campbell said. "The pressure's on him, not me. All I know is, I'm going to go out there to hurt him. Anger is what drives me every day. That's how I know I will persevere."


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« on: August 01, 2009, 10:26:26 AM »

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