Story and Photos by Scott Foster
After globetrotting through six different countries with mixed results since May 2011, Nate “The Galaxxy Warrior” Campbell (36-11, 26 KOs) became convinced he had finally located the elixir to his current woes: A healthy dose of hometown cooking from his own backyard. This Saturday (March 29th), Campbell returns to his home state headlining a card from Destin, FL, located in the beautiful vacation mecca of The Emerald Coast.
Campbell’s promotional company, Galaxxy Fire Promotions, in conjunction with The Palms of Destin Resort & Conference Center and the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, proudly presents “The March Of Destiny” weekend, a three-day multi-faceted event. Roy Jones Jr. kicked off festivities on Thursday with an outdoor concert, followed by a celebrity basketball event Friday night, culminating with an eight-bout card Saturday featuring the ex-lightweight champion Campbell who will face journeyman Gilbert Venegas (12-13, 8 KOs).
Campbell was so taken by The Emerald Coast that he not only relocated his training camp, but also intends to tie the proverbial knot on its world famous, sandy white beaches. Training out of Roy Jones Jr’s Gym in nearby Pensacola, under the tutelage of Jones’ long-time co-trainer Alfy Smith, “The Galaxxy Warrior” has embraced the local flavor and intends to breath some boxing life into what most consider an annual Spring Break destination.
“I wanted to come home and finish my career where it started – in Florida,” Campbell explained. “Florida and Savannah (Georgia) are where I really cut my teeth in boxing, and in the grand scheme of things, I just really wanted to come home and fight, to bring boxing back to Florida. I want to bring boxing to places where it has never really been.”
With one hand in the promotion, and the other inside the ring, the self-proclaimed “gym-rat” insists his time in the sport appears limitless, promising several acts to follow.
“I just want to keep giving back to the sport of boxing,” Campbell continued. “I want to give what I have, my knowledge, my understanding. I want to tell guys the right things to do, and who to stay away from. I want to be that guy — that when I speak about something — they know I’m telling the truth.”
Truth in sport, as in life, inevitably reveals itself. And the truth for Campbell, be it as a trainer, promoter or fighter, may not be revealed by the outcome of his bout with Venagas, or any subsequent fight with a higher-tier opponent.
The truth for Campbell’s future most likely lies in the place where it all began: huddled inside a dark, dusty gym, surrounded by young, eager minds.
“I am concentrating on raising a new crop of fighters — I want to give the sport another Nate Campbell. I want my fighters skin to be thick. I want them to know that I’m the one guy who loves you, who understands you, who has been through it all. I’m looking to bring up another crop of southern fighters who fight hard, and who let you know when they come, they come to take the title.”