Home News Bradley vs. Campbell Ends in Controversy

Bradley vs. Campbell Ends in Controversy

Timothy Bradley defends his junior welterweight title belts against Nate Campbell

The junior welterweight title fight between Timothy Bradley, the defending champion, and Nate Campbell was highly anticipated in the boxing community. On Saturday night the two fighters met, but only had to put in three rounds of work before the fight came to an end.

After a head butt seemingly opened up a cut over the left eye of Nate Campbell, he told the ringside doctor in the corner that he couldn’t see out of the eye. The doctor of course then stopped the bout, however the fight was ruled a victory for Bradley, rather than the No Contest that Campbell had assumed would be ruled.

The rule in boxing is that when a fight is stopped due to a cut caused from a head butt prior to the fourth round, it’s ruled a No Contest or No Decision. Afterwards, the fight would go to the scorecards. However, if the fight is stopped at anytime due to a cut caused from a punch, the fighter with the cut loses the fight via stoppage.

Campbell felt that the referee had ruled the cut to be caused by a head butt, however the referee made the final decision that a punch caused the cut. Therefore, the win went to Bradley and Campbell unknowingly set himself up for a loss.

Here’s a look at both sides of the controversy.

Why Nate Campbell Was Right

Nate Campbell was right in this situation because there was a clearly a vicious, although unintentional, head butt in the third round of the fight. Immediately after the head butt, Campbell backed away, looked at the referee and said “head butt” and pawed at his eye as if he felt blood beginning to stream. The referee at that time did note the head butt.

Considering the rules described above, if Campbell couldn’t continue after the third round, the fight should have been ruled a No Contest, because the cut stemmed from the clash of heads.

Why Nate Campbell Was Wrong

Nate Campbell was wrong in this situation because regardless of the rule, he willingly took himself out of the fight and apparently was looking for a way out. He seemed sluggish in the opening rounds and not on his game, and the cut seemed like a welcome opportunity for Campbell to get a redo on the evening. If Campbell was as confident in his ability to win the fight as he claimed, he should have fought through the cut and continued to battle.

While the cut was nasty, and blood could have been getting into his eyes, in his corner between rounds his trainer seemed to be able to wipe away the blood easily. The ringside doctor was also surprised when Campbell said he couldn’t see, since his face appeared to be wiped clean. Therefore despite the incorrect ruling of the referee, Campbell should have either 1) clarified with the referee what the final ruling was and 2) fought on instead of taking himself out of the fight.

With the win, Timothy Bradley remains undefeated and is the top 140 lb fighter in the world, looking beyond weight class jumping Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. A rematch may be forced, but it is unlikely that the fight is changed to a No Contest in review.