“Yori Boy” Campas Battles “Macho” Camacho May 9th in A.C.
By Ken Hissner, DoghouseBoxing (April 17, 2009)  
It was announced Saturday night at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Ballroom boxing event by Diane Lee Fischer of Dee Lee Promotions that she will be promoting the former IBF light middleweight champion Luis Ramon “Yori Boy” Campas, 92-14 (74), against the former 3 time world champion Hector “Macho” Camacho, 79-5-2 (38), May 9th at the Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino, in Atlantic City, New Jersey!

While at ringside prior to the show I looked up on stage and recognized that face from the many times I
have seen it in battle. I had the opportunity of interviewing Campas. After about 46 amateur bouts in 3 years under Salvador Mendoza, Campas started his pro career at the age of 15 in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico with the first of many (74) knockouts in the 1st round over Gaby Vega on July 11, 1987.

With Campas was his manager Joe Diaz, of Top Level Boxing Gym in Phoenix, Arizona, who served as interpreter of the former world champion. According to Box Rec, Campas is 92-14 (74) while Diaz claims he is 95-13 (76).

Campas won his first 55 fights surpassing the still standing record by former heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano who retired at 49-0 (43). Campas like Julio Cesar Chavez, his favorite fighter, and Willie Pep were several who also achieved this feat except only Marciano stayed unbeaten.

In Campas 35th bout he won the Mexican welterweight title from Jesus Cardenas in 7 rounds. It wasn’t until Campas had his 38th fight that he fought north of the border in October 5, 1991 stopping Frankie Davis in the 4th round in Reno, Nevada. In his 43rd fight Campas won the NABF title defeating previously unbeaten Roger Turner, 22-1, by majority decision in June of 1992.

After winning 56 straight, 50 by knockout, Campas challenged IBF welterweight champion Felix “Tito” Trinidad, 23-0, flooring his opponent in the 2nd round. In a wild swinging bout Campas tasted defeat for the first time being stopped in the 4th at 2:41. The bout took place in Las Vegas in September of 1994.

Campas would return to the US in his next fight stopping Cassius Clay Horne, 29-7-2, in the 4th for the WBO NABO light middleweight title in Los Angeles at the Olympic Auditorium. He would add the WBO NABO welter title stopping Genaro Leon, 46-6-2, in the 3rd in Tijuana in August of 1995.

After winning 8 straight since the Trinidad defeat Campas fought for the WBO welterweight title with Jose Luis Lopez, 36-3-1, at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, being stopped in the 5th round. “Lopez was the toughest I ever fought,” said Campas. That was October of 1996.

Campas would move up to the light middleweight division winning 4 straight before challenging previously unbeaten Raul Marquez, 28-1, for the IBF title in a bloody battle fought on even terms through 7 rounds. Campas would win the title at 2:29 of the 8th round in December of 1997. This brought Campas record to 69-2.

Defending his title every 3 months Campas would stop Anthony Stephens, 29-8-2, in March of 1998 after his opponent dislocated his shoulder quitting after the 3rd round at the Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut. In June back in Tijuana, Campas would stop Pedro Ortega, 24-3-1, in the 11th round. In his next defense at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas Campas stopped Larry Barnes, 44-2, after 3 rounds when the ring physician would not allow his opponent to come out due to a swelled shut left eye.

In December of 1998 Campas was stopped by the young Olympian Fernando Vargas, 14-0, after 7 rounds at the Trump Taj Mahal, in Atlantic City where he will make his return next month.

After a loss to hot Detroit fighter Oba Carr, 49-3-1, Campas defeated previously unbeaten Tony Ayala, Jr., 27-1, who had his 5 fight win streak on his comeback trail snapped. After taking a terrific beating Ayala refused to come out for the 9th round.

It wasn’t until March of 2002 that Campas got another shot at the title, the vacant WBO light middleweight title and having Santos badly hurt in the 8th round, but letting him off the hook only to being stopped in the 11th round by Daniel Santos, 24-2-1, in Las Vegas. Two fights later in May of 2003 Campas would challenge “The Golden Boy” Oscar DeLaHoya, 35-2, for his WBC and WBA titles in Las Vegas being stopped in 7. In 2004 Campas with a record of 80-6, realized ahead would be a lot of young prospects trying to upset the modern day knockout king! The last 20 fights have been filled with some very controversial losses starting with Matt Vanda, 33-1, in Minneapolis by split decision. Campas would return to Mexico for the first time in over 4 years to defeat previously unbeaten Esteban Camou, 17-1, in the 6th round for the vacant NABA middleweight title in Sonora.

Campas would only have one fight in the next year, a knockout win, and then face unbeaten John Duddy, 17-0, of Ireland at Madison Square Garden, where Duddy was a big fan favorite. Campas busted Duddy up with cuts over both eyes putting him out of commission for 6 months. In spite of this Duddy would get the decision. “They wouldn’t give us a rematch,” said Campas. “They even cut the last round 10 seconds short,” said Diaz. In June of 2007 Campas defeated Billy Lyell, 15-4, who is scheduled the end of April to meet Duddy which proves the point.

In 2008 Campas traveled out of the country to Finland and Ireland losing both fights. In Ireland was a loss to Matt Macklin, 20-2. After the fight Ricky Hatton said, “you got a royal screwing.” That seems to be the case for Campas at this stage of his career. Returning to Mexico he dropped the former WBA light middleweight Alejandro Garcia 3 times in the 1st round to post his last win to date. He was stopped on cuts in 9 rounds of action against top rated Saul Roman in a tough close fight in November of 2008.

His hero Julio Cesar Chavez retired with a 107-6-2 (86) at age 43 after 25 years of fighting. The 37 year old Campas has been battling for 22 years. “Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Bobby Chacon were two other favorites of mine,” said Campas. When I showed him one of my pictures with Alexis Arguello his face lit up. So you may want to add that name to the list. The governors of Puerto Rico and Mexico have a side bet on his fight with Camacho next month.

Though 46 years of age, Camacho has a 16-1-1 record since losing to DeLaHoya in 1997. The fight prior to that Camacho ended the career of “Sugar Ray” Leonard. Both the loss and draw were of the technical nature. Camacho returned from a 3 year lay-off to stop Perry Ballard, 20-1, in July of 2008 in his lone comeback fight. Camacho has never been stopped during his career. This should make an interesting match between the bull and the matador at the Trump Taj Majal May 9th in Atlantic City with Dee Lee Promotions and the fans looking forward to this one!

Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com

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