Feature Story

Nate Campbell speaks!

Vince Ornalez Photography
Vince Ornalez Photography

By Matt Thompson

FightNews had the opportunity to talk exclusively with former unified lightweight champion and current jr. welterweight contender Nate Campbell following his return home after the CSAC overturned the result of his fight with WBO champion Tim Bradley, changing that result to a no contest. The Galaxxy Warrior didn’t pull any punches in discussing the situation.

Congratulation on your successful appeal with the CSAC

Thanks! I can’t tell you how great it feels, and also how great if feels to know there is still some integrity and honesty left in this sport. Believe me, Its hard to find most times.

Vince Ornalez Photography
Vince Ornalez Photography

Were you at all surprised with the CSAC ruling?

See that’s the thing. In a way I was very surprised. You would think that it’s going to be open and shut, and if they look at the evidence then it’s a no-brainer. But in boxing a lot of the time, what’s “right” has nothing to do with what actually happens. Look at the decision in Paulie’s fight with Diaz. So yeah in a way I was very surprised, but at the same time it gave me some reassurance that no matter how tired of the nonsense in boxing I get sometimes, there still is a glimmer of hope that truth ultimately sees the light of day, and that boxing is not a lost cause.

During the hearing, did you get a sense of how things were going?

Not really. I mean, the video and photo evidence was pretty clear, but you had this idiot Ken Thompson babbling on and on about how Bradley is some kind of monster puncher, and how anyone of his “vicious blows” could have done the damage. That in and of itself was pretty laughable. Bradley a power puncher? PLEASE!!! My daughter Jade hits harder than him. He can’t crack an egg. It was just frustrating that in the face of straight up evidence to the contrary, that Thompson, Bradley, his pops, and that referee Mendoza fool just kept riding it out like they were right. It’s like your boy getting caught by his girl with another woman, and playing the “it wasn’t me” card. I mean come on. Just admit it, and move on in life.

Here’s an example. In the case right before mine, an MMA referee named Herb Dean got up in front of the commission, and said “I made the wrong call” about whether or not a blow was a foul in a fight he was the referee for. He KNEW that a fighters’ livelihood was affected by his decision, and he was a stand up guy and admitted that he got it wrong.

Referees aren’t machines. They make mistakes. The difference though between a Herb Dean and a David Mendoza is like night and day. Herb Dean had the honesty, integrity, and character to get up there and admit that in a split second decision, he may have made a mistake. Mendoza on the other hand lacks the character to admit that. He wanted his ruling upheld, regardless of whether it was right or wrong. Guys like him are bad for the sport.

People make mistakes. It happens. But be honest about it. People’s careers are affected by what these officials do. They should be held accountable. And guys like Herb Dean should be promoted, honored, and held up as the standard because of their character, and guys like Mendoza should instead be selling cell phones at the mall or something.

So you believe officials should be held accountable by commissions for their mistakes?

Why shouldn’t they be? I mean, mistakes happen. But if an official is so arrogant, or ignorant, or corrupt that they can’t even admit their mistake in the face of hard evidence to the contrary, then why should fighters have to trust their careers to clowns like him? Their decisions have consequences to the fighters they are supposed to be protecting. To me, even though I had never met him before, Herb Dean is an example of what an official SHOULD strive to be. You do your best to get it right the first time, but if every now and then you get one wrong, then just admit it. Why is that so hard for someone like Mendoza? Why punish a fighter for your mistake? Because you want to stay friends with the Bradley family? That’s weak, and has no place in the sport.

So how should a commission deal with that?

Simple. Don’t use them. Look, the CSAC made a bold statement that they believe in upholding the rules, regardless of where the fighter is from. I can’t tell you how much fighters throughout the country appreciate that, and what it means to us. My phone has been blowing up for two days straight from fighters everywhere calling me to talk about it. But the problem is that there are 1,000 guys just like Mendoza across the country. Not just in California. Going back and reversing wrong decisions is only part of the process. But it will take time to get rid of these clowns. But one by one, commissions can take guys like Mendoza, and just put them out to pasture. Don’t assign them any more fights. It’s pretty simple. And not just big tv fights either. The kid fighting a four-rounder off tv should be entitled to the same quality and honesty of officiating as the main event guys. If you get rid of these guys, things can only improve. I mean think about it. Could anyone do a worse job than Mendoza? I doubt it. They’d have to try pretty hard to be worse than him. Or that Van Hoy guy who had the 118-110 card in Paulie’s fight? That guy shouldn’t even judge a hotdog eating contest, much less a professional prize fight. Get rid of them.

Rumors have it that you and Bradley almost came to blows after the hearing. Care to discuss that?

Oh yeah. Me, Terry, my friend Vince Ornalez and my attorney Josh Dubin walked outside afterwards, and Bradley was a little ways up the sidewalk with a few people and he starts talking smack about how I got away with quitting or whatever, trying to act all thug. Terry always tells me to be cool in situations like this, and he does a good job of keeping me out of trouble. So, I look over at Terry, and he says “Screw this clown, go get yours!” So I’m like “Yeah baby, its on and poppin now!”

So, I took off my suit jacket and told Bradley to bring his punk ass. Well instead he hides behind his pops and keeps running his mouth, and then someone from the commission ran out and said “You are both licensees of the commission” so I got the message real quick about what that meant, and I didn’t want to disrespect the commission by having something go down right outside their front door after what they had just done.

So instead of going back to Tampa right away, I wanted to catch Timmy on the street somewhere. We ended up staying at Agua Caliente that night and went over to this strip club called Showgirls or something that Timmy goes to all the time (yeah, Mr. Christian boy himself) looking for him, but none of the girls had seen him that night. So we just chilled at the casino, played some blackjack, and flew back to Tampa in the morning.

It’s probably not the smartest thing in the world to straighten him on the street, but I know in my heart he will never rematch me, so I’ll just have to get my justice wherever I can find it.

A few people, such as Juan Diaz, have publically labeled you as a quitter. How do you respond to that?

First of all, I’m no quitter. This wasn’t about the cut. Even the CSAC acknowledged that at the hearing. I got butted right square in the eye, and couldn’t see out of my left eye. The cut was just something extra. Had I continued, my career would likely be over and I may have permanently lost sight in my left eye.

Anyone who calls me a quitter under those circumstances is a moron, plain and simple, and anything else they have to say after that doesn’t matter.

I’m no doctor, but I knew something was seriously wrong with my eye, and continuing to fight at that point would have been plain ignorant.

And Diaz ought to just keep my name out of his mouth. He himself tried to quit in his fight with me. Somewhere around round eight or nine I think. It’s on the tape. You can hear Ronnie Shields telling him “No, the doctor has to stop it” clear as Christmas on the tape. He only continued after he found out it would be a TKO loss if he stopped.

So Juan Diaz can kiss my ass. He’s had a year and a half to come and get some straightening, but as you can see he don’t want none. All he wants is to get another big payday getting beat up by Marquez again. He ought to be talking about rematching that boxing lesson Paulie just put on him, and keep my name out of his mouth.

And for others that might want to call me a quitter? Here’s what they fail to realize. If there was ever a fight I would have quit in, it was the Ali Funeka fight. I was dead at that weight, and in there with a cat that was throwing bazookas at me. Funeka got my attention more in twenty seconds than punk ass Timmy did in the whole fight. Quit because of Timmy? PLEASE!!! The boy can’t punch! Period! He does throw that size 22 buckethead around though. That big ass head is what he ought to be thanking God for all the time.

So what is next for you?

I’m not 100% sure. Terry (Trekas, co-promoter) will be talking to Don to see if maybe we can get Devon (Alexander) for the WBC title, or what other options are out there. There’s a lot of good fights at 140. I would love a Bradley rematch though. I get hard just thinking about it. But we all know that ain’t gonna happen. Gary Shaw will blame it on money, or the WBO in order to keep Timmy safe. So we’ll just talk with Don and see whats up.

Ok champ, thanks for your time.


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