Peden Stops Campbell In The 8th
By Darren Yates (February 24, 2005) 
Robbie Peden
Well, I received my wish and Robbie Peden is now the third Australian based boxer to hold a legitimate world title by stopping Nate Campbell in the 8th round of their rematch for the vacant IBF Super Featherweight title. Normally after a victory like this by an Australian boxer I would be celebrating very loudly and maybe even completing a victory lap of my lounge room. I certainly was hoping for Peden to punish and stop Campbell after all of his complaining and trash talk following his first bout with Robbie Peden but in this instance I do believe Nate Campbell was unfairly treated and had to contend with more than just Robbie Peden in the ring.

I must admit that I have seen worse officiating and certainly I feel that Peden certainly landed the cleaner and more telling punches during the course of the bout as Campbell’s face was puffing up mainly due to Peden's stiff jab. Campbell certainly wasn’t disgraced, as he put up a very commendable effort and landed some very good punches. It was clear however, that Peden was the stronger fighter as Campbell seemed to fade the further the fight went and when Peden pinned his opponent to the ropes landing a high volume of punches I was reminded of a young Jeff Fenech in his prime, punishing his opponents in the later 1980’s.

The fight started fairly well for Peden, who started confident and easily won the first round. Campbell had a very good 2nd round landing two very good right hands that had Peden’s legs wobbling. Campbell also had a good 3rd round and I feel he won this round also. It was evident to me that the Australian referee was trying to give the impression he was being fair but he was letting Peden get away with a lot and Campbell was being warned and cautioned for anything and everything. Both fighters were leading with their heads and hitting a lot of low and border line low shots.

During the 4th round during a close in exchange Peden and Campbell clashed heads accidentally at least 3 times in 2 or 3 seconds and Campbell was cut across the eye. The referee asked ringside officials what caused the cut; I don’t believe he received an adequate answer and the referee called the cut officially was opened by a punch to my disbelief. If any Australian boxing fan was disgusted by the officiating Danny Green received in Germany then they should be disgusted with how Nate Campbell was treated. After the fight resumed Peden attacked with fury knowing that if he made the cut worse and the fight was stopped it would be a TKO victory.

During the fifth round Peden boxed beautifully, sticking the jab in Nate’s face and using slick head movement to evade most of Campbell’s punches during this round. Campbell was deducted a point in the 6th for a VERY minor case of hitting and holding that barely warranted a warning with the referee justifying this action by saying Campbell had been warned before. Campbell seemed just as concerned with the referee as he was with Peden and this was to his detriment, as Peden was only focused on inflicting punishment on Nate. Peden was warned later in the 6th for a very obvious low blow and Campbell’s initial expression seemed to read disbelief that the ref was looking out for him. Peden closed out the 6th with a flurry of power punches.

The 7th started with Peden pinning Campbell on the ropes, working the body and head with good hooks and rips. Campbell was working reasonably well off the ropes scoring with some hooks and one very good right hand uppercut to Peden’s chin. Peden was definitely getting the better of the action. The two fighters once again hit and held each other whilst Campbell had Peden’s left hand tied up, Robbie countered with a slashing right hand that opened up a bad cut over Campbell’s other eye, this time the referee was well sighted and made the correct call. Nate was taken to the ring doctor for the 5th time in the bout and surprisingly they let the fight continue. Campbell was now totally lost, with no confidence in receiving fair treatment used a forearm in a clinch to press Peden’s head back. Nate did close the 7th strong landing some of his best hooks and rips of the fight in the last 20 seconds of the round.

The 8th started with the ring doctor delaying proceedings by having a very close look at Campbell’s cut eyes. Nate looked a very tired and sorry sight with a big cut over each eye and big time swelling and purple bruising around and under his left eye socket, but he still kept trying fight. Peden, in comparison, looked strong and fresh, unleashing a barrage of punishing punches in the middle of the round and still utilizing excellent head movement to avoid a lot of Campbell’s punches. With a minute to go in the round Campbell was fighting back well, landing good, solid power punches and just as I thought this bout might go the distance, Peden unloaded 8 to 10 power punches on a desperately covering up Nate Campbell and the referee decided the visitor had taken enough punishment. In one way the stoppage was probably a little premature, as Campbell was fighting back most of the time. On the other hand he was way behind on the scorecards and had no hope of winning on points and was unlikely to score a KO due the fact he was fading more and more as the fight went on, so perhaps the referee did do him one big favour.

Peden ran around the ring celebrating and then stopped near Campbell’s corner and taunted his opponent a little, much to Campbell’s trainer, former Middleweight champion John David Jackson’s disgust. Peden did try and shake hands with Campbell after the fight, but Nate wanted nothing to do with it and said something briefly to Peden. Quotes I have read in the press this morning from Campbell include: “It’s hard for me to fight everybody – you can’t fight the referee. I would never fight here again , never, not against anyone.” I can’t blame Campbell as it's hard enough to fight a skilled opponent without having to deal with a referee clearly favoring the hometown fighter. This is not a case of a bad workman blaming his tools. I’m not trying to rain on Peden’s parade, as he was clearly the better man on the night, but a visiting fighter should deserve fairer treatment if Australian boxing is not to be viewed overseas in the same fashion as Germany.

Congratulations to Robbie Peden on winning a tough fight against a tough opponent. It will be interesting to see how long he will hold his title and who he will make his first defence against. Certainly Nate Campbell is worthy of a third attempt.

On the undercard Sam Soliman knocked out former world title challenger (at lightweight if I recall correctly) Miguel Julio with a single right hand punch in the 4th round. An announcement was made after the bout that the IBF has mandated Bernard Hopkins must defend his IBF title against Soliman within 90 days. Somehow I think Sam Soliman will be fighting someone else for the vacant IBF Middleweight title, as I think Hopkins will want to face a better known opponent who will generate more cash before 'The Executioner' retires.
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