by Cliff Rold - Beibut Shumenov, quietly, continues to reign as the WBA titlist at Light Heavyweight. IBF Light Heavyweight titlist Tavoris Cloud is scheduled to make his annual appearance against Bernard Hopkins on March 9 in a big event.
With different officials, with what many would say were better scores, another man could occupy either of those spaces. All other things being equal, he could be one of the sports few unified titlists, maybe even the recognized best in the world at 175 lbs. Fate had something else in mind for that man.
Saturday night on NBC Sports (9 PM EST/6 PM PST), former WBA Light Heavyweight beltholder Gabriel Campillo (21-4-1, 8 KO) returns from injury and ignominious outcome for the first time since dropping a split decision to Cloud in February 2012. It his fifth fight since a dubiously scored rematch defeat that cost him a belt versus Shumenov, his second since a debatable draw against Karo Murat.
Campillo’s return will be widely overshadowed by a big HBO card. His pay will likely lag behind what a champion could receive. His opponent, Sergey Kovalev (19-0-1, 17 KO), is the sort of talented, high-risk, low-reward challenge a champion can wait on.
At 34, a top fighter’s window for accomplishment and savings deposit growth is typically closing. Campillo is fighting to keep his window open. He should have one if not two belts to cash in on right now. Boxing’s proliferation of belts may take away from their merit, but they maintain significant value as economic markers. Campillo, at #3, is in position to improve his IBF rating. He is unrated by the WBC, WBA, and WBO. [Click Here To Read More