Boxingtalk.com won’t object if other sanctioning bodies copy this article and pass it around since they too could learn something about protecting fighters who pay them sanction fees. In less than 48 hours, the IBF will sanction a championship bout between Nate Campbell and Robbie Peden. The fight will take place in Melbourne, Australia Peden’s hometown and the fight will be promoted by the Peden camp. Having two strikes against him already shouldn’t really matter except this is boxing where strange things are the norm, not the exception. Just recently, the IBF sanctioned an elimination bout between Montell Griffin and Rico Hoye. With the exception of two of the three judges present, this reporter and perhaps 99% of everyone else who watched the bout know that Griffin won the fight easily. Suffice to say, this reporter scored the fight 10 rounds to 2 in favor of Griffin. Coincidently, Hoye was fighting before his hometown crowd and for some unexplained reason, two of the judges scored the fight for Hoye. When all was said and done, the IBF chose to turn the other cheek, collect their fees from both fighters and stay mute. Like I said, this is boxing so it shouldn’t surprise you.
The IBF thinks that we like to pick on them, of course, there’s a lot to pick on, why else would they have needed a court appointed monitor to oversee them for the past 3 years. The WBC, like the IBF is just as guilty in this case since they also failed to correct a wrong when they allowed Jose Navarro to get robbed when he fought Katsushige Kawashima in Kawashima’s hometown. They must've been serving bad sushi, the fishy smell was rancid. How rancid was it? One judge had the fight going to Navarro by a shutout (120-109) while the other two, probably busy pukeing on the sushi, scored the fight for the Japanese champion. It should be noted that the WBC ordered that Roy Jones Jr. take on Antonio Tarver for a second time after the decision of Jones-Tarver I was FAR LESS controversial than the Navarro-Kawashima decision.
In his last fight with Peden, Campbell committed as bad a judgment error as any we've ever seen from any official scorekeeper. Campbell had nearly broken Peden in two with a ferocious body shot, when, for some unexplained reason he dropped his hands and gave Peden a free shot at his chin. Not surprisingly, Peden knocked Campbell out with a single left hook.
The Campbell/Peden rematch is for the IBF’s Jr. Lightweight belt and you’d think that when fighters are paying 3% of their respective purses to these sanctioning organizations, the fighters would at least get experienced judges to judge the fight. It’s bad enough that even with experience, bad decisions are plentiful, imagine what happens when they appoint 3 judges who have no world championship fight experience whatsoever?
In spite of Campbell’s blunder in his last fight with Peden, the odds makers have made Campbell a 2-1 favorite to win the rematch. 2-1 in Peden’s hometown, and the fight being promoted by his camp, are pretty big odds in Campbell’s favor considering the hometown edge Peden carries. If this fight were not in Peden’s backyard, Campbell would probably be an even bigger favorite despite his KO loss to the rugged Australian contender.
Fighters have the responsibility of protecting themselves at all time in the ring, Campbell has no one but himself to blame for his inexcusable mistake. Likewise, sanctioning organizations like the IBF and WBC have a responsibility to protect their fighters from getting robbed by corrupt or incompetent judging. Turning the other cheek is no excuse, especially when you’re collecting a total of 6% of fighter’s purses.
But what else should we expect from the IBF and its President Marian Muhammad who openly admitted that she "doesn't know and doesn't care" about the dilemma surrounding the IBF cruiserweight title? Why should she care any more for her top two junior lightweight contenders than she does for her cruiserweight champ? The answer is simple, SHE WON'T.
Unfortunately for boxing fans, the fight will not be televised in America. Regardless of the outcome, there should be plenty of fireworks when the bell rings as there’s more bad blood flowing between these two fighters than a breached dam. The only saving grace for the IBF is that in spite of appointing a team of judges lacking big fight experience, the odds of this fight going the distance are about as good as the IBF turning the corner and rehabilitating themselves after years of corrupt business practices.
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