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Interview with Nate Campbell

Posted on 04/15/2008

– The following was submitted by contributor Eric Rineer:

— Nate Campbell, 23-1, who lost a controversial 10-round decision to former world champion Joel Casamayor on Jan. 25, says he’s ready to bang with the best of the junior lightweights. He says the fighters he wants in the ring most are champions Acelino Freitas of Brazil and Yodsanan Nanthachai of Thailand.

— Campbell is training at Elite Boxing in Vero Beach, Fla., to prepare for Edelmiro Martinez, 20-2-1, who he will meet in Atlantic City, N.J, on May 17.

— Campbell’s trainer is Buddy McGirt.

— Campbell’s chief sparring partner for his upcoming bout is junior lightweight Jaime Palma. “Nate’s really strong,” said Palma, who helped Arturo Gatti prepare for the second Micky Ward fight. “With Nate, you’d be a fool to sit in there and bang with him. With Nate, you have to kind of get yours and go.”

— Campbell said he also hopes to get in some sparring with Sharmba Mitchell, who he worked with before the Casamayor fight. Mitchell is training at the same gym for his junior welterweight fight with Ben Tackie on May 17.

The following is an excerpt from a recent interview with Campbell at the Vero Beach gym:

— Is there anything you wish you had done different against Casamayor?

If there was anything I would do differently, first of all, I would have rather have had 4 ½ weeks (to train) instead of 3 ½ weeks — just one more week. But you don’t get it all the time, so I’m not going to gripe about that because I took the fight anyway. Many people believed that Casamayor was just going to give me a boxing lesson and teach me something about boxing, that there’s no possible way that this nobody can come in and beat this ex-world champion, gold-medal champion, this guy who was, you know, world champion in the amateurs. Who cares? When the bell rings, all of that goes out the window. I don’t care who you know, or who you used to know, or what you used to do, or where you come from. When that bell rings, you got to be willing to do three things when you get in the ring with me: Fight, kill or die. And if you don’t want to do those, you’re in the wrong place. So, that’s what it’s all about. I feel like I didn’t fight to my full potential, but I did more than enough to win. But, at the same time, you can’t beat the judges, the referee, the fighter and their promoter. You can’t be at them all.

— How is camp going so far?

It’s good. I’ve been here just over a week. I’m getting 5 ½ weeks, basically, for this fight. It makes a big difference. I thought (my team) could have helped me prepare more for (Casamayor), a few things I could have worked on more. But we had the perfect game plan to beat this guy. He didn’t expect me to be that good of a boxer. He thought I was just a big puncher and I couldn’t box. He found out there was another facet to me. And the bad thing is, he took all he knew to get what he got. But I didn’t even use half of what I can do. If we get to do it again, he will fall.

— How would you rate the junior lightweight division?

I think in this division there are a lot of good fighters. But, at the same time, I think there are more overrated fighters in this division than any other division. There are a lot of overrated guys in the ’30s. Really, there are. They are very overrated. Freitas knocked out Juan Ramirez and, all of a sudden, he’s great all over again. But he didn’t knock out two of the guys previous to that whom he should have knocked out.

— Is Freitas who you want next?

Of course. Why not? He has the title. I want him. I want the big mouth named 3-K Battery (Yodsanan Nanthachai) over in Thailand: Come over to the states. You really believe you’re that good? You beat Lamont Pearson over in Thailand, OK. (But) there’s no telling what happened over there. Bring it, 3-K. This is where the real fights happen. The real fights happen in the U.S. of A. Come on to the U.S. of A. You say you’ll beat me. You said (you want) fighters like Nate Campbell. Put up your WBA or whatever you hold. Put it up. Come see me, come into my office. ‘I don’t do my fighting outside the ring’ is my motto… But I will fight anybody if you put them in the square circle. … And Steve Forbes had something to say about me in previous conversations with other people. I want to let him know if he ever decides to put that No. 1 ranking up that he doesn’t deserve, if he wants to put it up, I’ll be glad to come get it. I ain’t David Santos — I come to get my opponent. I don’t let you get out of there. And a powde-puff puncher like himself, his best bet is to stay out of my way.

— To reach Eric Rineer, contact [email protected], or [email protected].

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