Campbell Wins and Other Boxing News

By Tom Donelson
Updated: March 6, 2007

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Nate Campbell was fighting for a shot for an IBF title as he fought what the IBF called a title eliminator. In the strange world of boxing, a title eliminator is not always a title eliminator.

Just ask Samuel Peter, when WBC forced him to fight two title elimination bouts! And in both cases, the WBC collected sanctioning fees just as Campbell and his opponent, Ricky Quiles, forfeited a portion of their fees to the IBF.

Campbell never looked sharper in a bigger fight. Against the slick boxing Quiles, Campbell landed accurate body shots as he forced Quiles to stand and fight.

Quiles’ hand speed slowed down after being pounded by Campbell round after round. Quiles weakened by the persistent Campbell.

This was a fight in which the swarming slugger got the better of the boxer and the last two rounds were painful to watch. During the tenth round, the referee told Quiles that if he did not show him something, the fight would be stopped.

Quiles’ courage kept him on his feet but the pounding continued. Going into the last two rounds, it was obvious that Quiles needed a knock out to win and it was equally obvious that he had nothing left to knock Campbell out.

Quiles came into the fight with just eight knock outs in his career and after taking ten rounds of pounding from Campbell, Quiles was even less likely to win.

The 11th and the 12th saw Campbell throwing power shots after power shots and Quiles did not answer back. He was nothing but a punching bag and Campbell could not miss with his big bombs.

Each second saw more damage and in the last minute, ESPN announcer Teddy Atlas was screaming from ringside; demanding that the referee stop the fight.

Campbell won his eliminator bout but there is no guarantee that he will actually get a title shot. As for Quiles, his career may have suffered as his corner failed to do the right thing and stop the fight earlier.

When a guy has eight knock outs over 50 fights is not a guy with a lot of pop in his punches. There was no way that Quiles was going to stop Campbell in the later rounds.

Sometimes, a fighter can show his character in a loss. Samuel Miller came out smoking against Darrell Woods and had Woods staggered repeatedly.

Miller is a typical Columbian fighter with a primitive style and a knockout record built up by beating the barely breathing and tomato cans in his native Columbia. Since coming to the United States, he had as many decisions as knock out wins as his competition stiffened.

After that first round, Miller looked in command and his primitive style overwhelmed the older Woods. Miller made one fateful mistake, he allowed Woods to survive the round.

He never went to the body and as the round progressed, Woods picked up Miller punches and in the second round, his experience started to pay off. With seconds left in the round, a Woods right sent Miller down.

The third round went back and forth as both fighters shook each other up. Woods began the round with his second knockdown of the fight but by the end of round, it was Miller who had Woods on the rope.

Between the fourth and through the middle of the seventh round, Woods jab and height proved decisive. Woods used his boxing skills to create space and Miller could not close the distance to use his power.

At the end of the seventh, Miller nailed Woods and just as he did in the first, he had Woods on the rope. But just like the first, he could not finish the job and allowed Woods to escape.

Woods survived the final eighth round as Miller won the round. Woods two knockdown and his boxing skills in the middle rounds won him the decision.

As for Miller, he was staggered and found himself on the canvas twice. Yet, he got back up and nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

The key issue is what Miller will learn from this fight. He rarely used a jab nor did he strike Woods body. Miller head hunted the entire bout and against a wily veteran, he often found himself countered. Miller showed his toughness but the real question is whether he can develop boxing skills to go with his power.

ShoBox’s Steve Farhood noted that many fighters are often considered can’t miss only to miss when they fight other skilled fighters. This past Friday, ShoBox featured Saint Louis Devon Alexander and Elios Rojas. Both fighters are skilled boxer-punchers and now they faced stiff tests.

Alexander fought Scott Ball but Ball proved problematic for the young Alexander. Alexander has real skills and his hand speed advantage showed up in the first round. Ball began to counter in the middle rounds but in the seventh round, Alexander straight left nailed Ball and sent him down for the first time in the fight.

Moments later, Alexander combinations sent Ball down and Ball showed no desire to get up. Ball held his own for the first six rounds but the seventh round showed the difference in skill level between the two fighters.

As for Rojas, his hand and boxing skills proved decisive after the first two minutes of the first round. A right hand rocked the former marine, Johnnie Edwards.

Edwards moved back and from that point, it was a boxing show as Rojas left jab forced Edwards back and blinded him from picking up the Rojas right.

What Rojas could not do was knock Edwards out despite outclassing the South Carolina native. Edwards toughness allowed him to survive. (Edwards biggest victory coming into this fight was over Eric Aiken, a featherweight champion, so he was a decent fighter.)

As Farhood noted, let us wait until their career moves forward before declaring these fighters as can’t miss. Rojas and Alexander have skills but they have a way to go before the term prospect is removed from their moniker.