Impressive U.S. debut

for Gabriel Campillo

By Rizwaan Zahid
of The Boxing Amusement Park

It was a brilliant display, worthy of world attention. The Beibut Shumenov Ė Gabriel Campillo rematch showcased a much-needed new competitor in the light heavyweight division. Surprisingly however, it was not Shumenov, but Campillo. Campillo beat Shumenov convincingly Friday night,  especially during the last half of the fight, only to lose on the ill-fated scorecards.
In a rematch of their closely contested affair in August 2009, Campillo imposed his calm demeanor on Shumenov, taking his best power shots by rolling with them and blocking them with his gloves, and landing almost at will with his variety and volume of punches. For someone who has never fought on USA television before, it was a remarkable performance and a composed one at that. Not only was this a good win  Ė or should have been Ė it was a world-class exhibition over a fighter that many would not dare step in the ring with. But victory literally was not in the cards as Shumenov won an extremely controversial split decision.
There have been far too many despicable decisions recently, so I cannot say that I donít remember such a horrendous scorecard, but this one definitely ranks among the worst.
Campillo is part of the new crop of light heavyweights, and one of the few not in his 40ís. But he could find it hard to find fights, since he is primarily a boxer and isn't yet well-known enough to generate big bucks for the better known fighters at 175.
The 6-foot-2 Spaniard has great stamina and the ability to be in wars, so I, for one, hope he gets the opportunity to showcase his abilities on a higher level.
As for Shumenov, this fight seems to be just another example of why fighters cannot be rushed into pro careers. Despite the fact that Beibut had a vast amateur career, the pro ranks are a different game. Shumenov had 12 rounds to win, but his plan seemed limited: win with a knockout, and as soon as possible. Whether this was his cornerís advice, or simply a matter of a fighter not following instructions, it showed in the ring. Shumenov was winded by the mid-point and never seemed to shake or bother Campillo.
As far as his matchmakers are concerned, a power puncher with only eight pro fights should not be tossed in with a skillful, technical boxer.
Champions are not made overnight, despite their amateur experience. If Shumenov is expecting to be a major factor in the division, he should have a plan B and C, instead of just plan A, which seemed to be knock his head into hell from the opening bell.
If there is a positive to this fight, itís that the WBA -- usually on the negative end of the news -- ordered this rematch. If it hadn't, many still wouldn't know who Campillo is.
In the end, however, we already have our first controversial decision of the year. Boxing could not even make it one month into the new decade without a questionable verdict.
So much for a new yearís resolution.


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Rizwaan Zahid

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Rizwaan Zahid is in his senior year at Carleton University in Ottawa, pursuing his Mass Communications degree, with the future aspirations of becoming a professional sports journalist.
Although relatively young, Rizwaan has shown his passion of writing the beautiful sport of boxing and has worked with Bragging Rights Corner, Boxing Banter, Diamond Boxing,
Fightfan.com, East Side Boxing as well as The Fight Network for over three years. With Fightfan.com, Rizwaan has been awarded the feature article of the month numerous times.
Over these past few years, Rizwaan has interviewed and conducted conferences with fighters and trainers such as Jeff Mayweather, Jermaine Taylor, Kelly Pavlik, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Jr., Jackie Kallen, Wayne McCullough, Manny Pacquaio, Wladimir Klitsckho and Emmanuel Steward.

Although boxing has been his main focus over the years, Rizwaan still has a strong passion for many other sports and has covered various sports in The Charlatan, Carleton University's newspaper.
Rizwaan has also worked with PHASE 1 Basketball, a camp based out of Toronto which is a showcase for the best basketball Canada has to offer on various levels, as well as the Out of Left Field blog which attracts numerous readers daily.

Rizwaan Zahid hopes to continue his efforts in journalism in the world of sports.
Contact Rizwaan