By Hans Olson
Back on February 18, Spain’s Gabriel Campillo turned in a performance of a lifetime against the undefeated Tavoris Cloud.
Unfortunately for Campillo, painfully inept judging by David Robertson and Joel Elizondo prevented him from becoming the new IBF Light Heavyweight Champion. While Elizondo’s card of 114-112 was bad enough, Robertson’s 116-110 card was downright laughable.
Only judge Dennis Nelson got it right, scoring the contest for Campillo 115-111.
Even with the split-decision loss, Campillo holds his head high, with his stock rising considerably.
Boxing Insider caught up Gabriel Campillo this week to discuss the fight and much more. Check it out!
Boxing Insider: First off, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Gabriel! Can you tell me how you’re feeling now with time having passed since the fight with Cloud?
Gabriel Campillo: “Hello! It’s a pleasure for me to have the opportunity of expressing myself and share with the boxing fans my opinions and thoughts. I feel so happy for how the fight was developed, I think we did very good work physically, technically and strategically. It could be said that the whole world has watched it, and so I am considered as one of the strongest at Light Heavyweight. So the outcome for me? It is positive.
Boxing Insider: What are your overall feelings of the fight?
Gabriel Campillo: “I think we won the fight easily, maybe 115-111. There is no doubt that we lost the first round 10-7, but from then on we won almost all the following [rounds], with the exception of one or two maybe. We won, and it was so clear. Not close. So the fight was so easy to mark, really. It was definitely a horrible decision, the one given by the judges.”
Boxing Insider: Can you take me back to the first round? What happened with the knockdowns?
Gabriel Campillo: “I started as I usually do: to move, trying to study the rival in the first round, checking his speed and punch. Everything was going well, but suddenly he just surprised me with a good right-hand and I just fell. When I hit the floor, I realized that I could get up without any problems, and this is what I did. Later, I fell again, but it was because Cloud run over me—not because of the punching. This round was completely lost, so I just tried to move, recover and then fight as we had planned.”
Boxing Insider: After that first round, you dominated every second of every round. How did that happen? What did you do to adjust?
Gabriel Campillo: “I just started the second round with the aim of doing the work I came to do, the work I had been working on for so many months. When somebody is so prepared as I was for that fight, you recover no matter the problem. So, I started following the plan of my trainer Pablo Sarmiento: using mobility, speed, punching and moving side-to-side, not offering myself as a target. This turned me into a shadow—a shadow that could not be touched by a so technically limited boxer as Cloud—and we knew this would happen.”
Boxing Insider: What are your thoughts on Cloud as a fighter?
Gabriel Campillo: “Cloud is a good boxer, he is extremely hard and strong, so you must be very careful with his punching. On the other hand, he has some lack of defense, and technically, he has a limit.”
Boxing Insider: I’m sure you want a rematch. Do you think you will get one?
Gabriel Campillo: “The only reason I would like a rematch to happen is because I think it is the only way to get the title. It is not a matter of pride, because I really do think that I have already shown the world that I am far better than Cloud. I am not sure if there will be a rematch, but it would be so nice to get the title, and to offer the Spanish fans—and also the American fans who have supported me—another great fight.
Boxing Insider: If you don’t get a rematch with Cloud, what will be next for you?
Gabriel Campillo: “Right now, I’m just thinking of resting. My manager Sergio Martinez, and my promoter Sampson Lewcowicz, have to decide which will be the next step for me.”
Boxing Insider: Thanks again Gabriel! If you have anything to say to the American fans, feel free to do so!
Gabriel Campillo: “I would like to say that it was a wonderful pleasure to fight in the States, they are an amazing public, and they know a lot about boxing. I really enjoyed fighting for them, and I would love to do it again if that opportunity is brought to me. I feel they liked my boxing. I love America!”
(Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @hansolson)