Saturday, March 08, 2008

Live Blog: Juan Diaz/Nate Campbell Lightweight Championship Fight

Juan Diaz and Nate Campbell are getting ready to battle for the Lightweight championship in Cancun Mexico. We'll bring you coverage of the fight as it transpires.

Diaz is unbeaten in 33 career fights but could be challenged by the exciting Campbell, still Diaz is a huge favorite as they fight for the IBF title. Campbell started his career at age 24, the age of Diaz now, and didn't turn pro until 27. He's had a few losses in title fights to Robbie Peden but hopes to win this one in what might be his last chance.

The fighters are in the ring and we'll be back in a little more than 3 minutes with the recap of the first round.

ROUND ONE: Very exciting round one. Which saw Campbell come flying out. He did cut Diaz over the eye, and work some big right hands to the body. Diaz landed a big strong uppercut midway through the round. The round was exciting and Campbell probably won it on pure determination. Lots of leather thrown.

ROUND TWO: This fight has a tremendous pace. Diaz likes to fight at this level. And he is starting to take some sort of control midway through the round. He backed Campbell up against the ropes and got some good punches in, as Campbell almost seemed to be tiring. There has been a lot of good fighting and Campbell seemed to rally towards the end of the round. But I'll give that round to Diaz and say we're even up to this point.

ROUND THREE: Much more outside fighting here in Round Three. Campbell continues to work to the body. But Diaz countered that as well. This is a great fight at a great pace. Diaz has some swelling around the left eye where he bled earlier. Some good punches from both. I'm going to call the round even.

ROUND FOUR: These rounds are very close. I think they could be going either way. Campbell is working the body and Diaz seems to focusing on that in this round as well. Campbell seems to be landing more clean punches at the moment, as the pace has slowed right now. Not slow by any means, but slow from the frenetic pace of the first two rounds. Another close round, that I'm going to score for Campbell.

ROUND FIVE: Truly this is turning into a great fight. Diaz still has a little bleeding over the left eye. The feeling in the Diaz corner seems to be that Campbell will tire out. There was again a lot of leather thrown that round, and again I thought Campbell landed the cleaner punches. I thought he won the round and is ahead. Compubox said Diaz landed 29 punches that round, but Campbell landed 26.

ROUND SIX: Good left hook from Campbell and then an uppercut. But Diaz is landing as well. Campbell has thrown more punches in all five rounds thus far. A good flurry there from Diaz. Lots of blood from Diaz' left eye. And Campbell lost a point on a head butt. The HBO producers (JOEY) believe that the punch opened the cut. A clean punch in fact as the replay shows. Diaz wins that 10-8.

ROUND SEVEN: I've got it even entering Round seven, because of the point that maybe shouldn't have been taken away. Diaz is bothered by the cut. Campbell seems much more comfortable in the ring right now. Campbell is landing the effective punches and he's throwing more punches. He won that round.

ROUND EIGHT: This is becoming a fight that you will remember for a long time if you have the pleasure of watching it. The two fighters are once again trading punches. The bigger punches though again coming from the challenger. The champion fires back with a few. But Campbell is not backing down. A couple big right hands from Campbell. Diaz rallying here towards the end of the round. Not sure he can steal this round. Campbell is backing him up. The round is going to be Campbell's.

ROUND NINE: Through eight rounds, Campbell has landed 30 punches more. I have Campbell ahead by two rounds at this point and Diaz needs to rally. Diaz is bleeding profusely right now. He is in deep trouble in my view and Max Kellerman just said the same thing. Diaz is playing for the knockout and he's not able. Campbell is drilling Diaz to the head right now. Another round for Nate Campbell.

ROUND TEN: Campbell has been outworking and outpunching Diaz the last few rounds. All the momentum has been with the challenger. Diaz looks beaten. Campbell continues to pound away. Big right hand from Campbell near the end of the round. If this keeps up Campbell will walk out of here with the belt around his waist.

ROUND ELEVEN: Diaz throws a huge right desperation hand. But with no success. Campbell keeps coming forward and landing big punches. The always active Diaz has been slowed in Cancun. One more round for Campbell, and one more to go.

ROUND TWELVE: This has been a good fight, and they are once again trading punches. This is the best Diaz has looked for sometime. But Campbell is still hitting him hard. However, this is a much more even round than the last few have been. But Diaz has little left at the end of the round and Campbell has landed some clean punches. Again the round to me goes to Campbell.

We'll wait for the decision. One that I think has to goto Campbell, but many early rounds were close - and if they all went to Diaz and the loss of the point for Campbell could make this decision close.

My scorecard is 117-111 in favor of Campbell.

The officials have it 116-111 for Campbell, 115-112 for Campbell, and the other one for Diaz in a split decision. The champion is now Nate Campbell.

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