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Campbell loses titles on the scales!

WBO and IBF titles, only on the line for Funeka!

Nate Campbell lost his WBO and IBF titles on Friday afternoon, when he failed to make the 135lb limit at the weigh-in. On his first attempt, Campbell weighed 138lbs. He was given two more hours to shed the additional weight. On his second and final attempt, Campbell weighed 137.5 - still two and a half pounds over the contracted weight.

As a result, the WBO and IBF rightfully stripped Campbell of his titles. The fight will still happen tonight and it is still a title fight, but only for challenger Ali Funeka, who weighed 133.5lbs on his first try. Should Campbell emerge victorious, the titles will remain vacant. If the upset-minded Funeka wins, he takes home the titles.

Serious questions arise, given these events: Did Campbell take this fight seriously enough? After all, failure to make weight is exactly the reason why Campbell heavily criticized his previous opponent Joan Guzman last September, when Guzman also came in over weight and prevented their September 13th title fight from happening. Is Campbell in danger of suffering a let down after posting a career defining victory over Juan Diaz almost a year ago?

Perhaps it's a weigh-in curse that has long plagued the lightweight division. If you all recall, Jose Luis Castillo failed to make weight for his lightweight title rematch with Diego Corrales in 2005. Corrales weighed in well above the 135lb limit for his lightweight title rubbermatch against Joel Casamayor in October of 2006. As was mentioned before, the same thing happened with Guzman when he was scheduled to challenge Campbell for the lightweight championship last September.

Alright ladies and gentlemen, Friday the 13th has come and gone. Putting weight class superstitions aside, let us look into a more logical and realistic reason for Campbell's mishap.

While Campbell is in fact a ripe 36 years of age [he'll be turning 37 on March 7], I take my hat off to an old veteran like Bernard Hopkins, a gym rat who remains in the gym and stays fit, even if he does not have a fight to train for. When one is able to maintain some semblance of physical conditioning throughout the year, it makes it much easier to take any additional weight off for the fight. At the advanced age of 36, taking a year off from boxing and then weighing in three pounds over the weight limit on the scales is something that a guy like Campbell can not afford to do. When you're a professional, especially a unified world champion at an advanced age, you're expected to show more discipline than that.

That's the difference between a great old fighter maintaining his form at a later age vs. a guy who happens to work his way to the title and then fails to keep it due inconsistency and lack of consistent work ethic. I'm sorry to say, but I do not chalk this one up to age. In this particular case, Campbell is guilty of inconsistency, as he has been on several occasions. He gives a near-prime Joel Casamayor all he can handle in January of 2003, in what was a close debatable decision loss, but was stopped on two separate by Robbie Peden.

Campbell dominated and stopped Kid Diamond, but lost a decision to Francisco Lorenzo, whom Humberto Soto went on to defeat this past year. Campbell also lost to welterweight contender Isaac Hlatshwayo in a jr welterweight fight that took place in 2004, but came back in March 2008 with a career-best performance and handed previously undefeated Juan Diaz his first loss to claim the WBO and IBF titles. Since the win over Diaz, Campbell was laid off for almost a year.

The sequence of events that were just described purely summarize the height of inconsistency and irresponsibility. That is why Campbell's reign has been cut short, before he's even had a physical fighting chance to make the first defense of the title he worked so hard to win.