Campbell retesting lightweight waters
Former unified lightweight titlist Nate Campbell (33-6-1, 25 KOs), last seen losing a lopsided decision in May to Victor Ortiz in a junior welterweight bout on HBO, will return Nov. 27, adviser Terry Trekas told ESPN.com.
Campbell, who will fight at 137 pounds, is scheduled to face Walter Estrada (37-13-1, 25 KOs) on the undercard of lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez's defense against Michael Katsidis at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Campbell plans to move back down to the lightweight division, despite previous problems making weight.
"He's going back to 135, so I wanted to test him out at 137 first to make sure he's good at the weight," Trekas said.
After the Ortiz fight, Campbell was diagnosed with a sciatic nerve problem, which is what he said gave him trouble in the fight. The upcoming fight is "to get back in the win column and to see how successful the back rehab was," Trekas said. "I had concerns about him going back to 135, but he feels with the back rehab that it now allows him to do the things in camp that he hasn't been able to for the last few fights and that he can now make 135."
• Middleweight David Lemieux (23-0, 22 KOs), the biggest rising star on the Canadian boxing scene, faces Hector Camacho Jr. (52-3-1, 28 KOs) on Friday night -- a fight whose American rights ESPN secured in a deal Tuesday. ESPN3.com will carry live coverage of the 12-round bout from Montreal's Bell Centre starting at 10 p.m. ET. Although there won't be a network replay, the bout will be available on demand on ESPN3.com for a few days following the fight. ESPN3.com has picked up rights to several fights this fall, including recent heavyweight title defenses by Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko from Germany, a middleweight title defense by Felix Sturm from Germany, and a super middleweight title defense by Lucian Bute from Montreal. "Our plan was to continue having a boxing presence in the fall during the hiatus of [ESPN2's] 'Friday Night Fights,'" ESPN boxing programmer Doug Loughrey said. "And we've been able to consistently deliver our boxing fans exclusive fights until 'Friday Night Fights' returns on Jan. 7."
• Don King formally announced his Dec. 17 card Wednesday at American Airlines Arena in Miami. Odlanier Solis (16-0, 12 KOs) will meet Ray Austin (28-4-4, 18 KOs) in a heavyweight title eliminator in the main event, with the winner getting a mandatory shot at Vitali Klitschko. Light heavyweight titlist Tavoris Cloud (21-0, 18 KOs) will make his second defense against Fulgencio Zuniga (24-4-1, 21 KOs) in the co-feature. Also scheduled for the card is former welterweight champ and junior middleweight titlist Ricardo Mayorga (28-7-1, 22 KOs), who will make his return on the undercard in a 10-round middleweight bout against an opponent to be determined. Mayorga -- known for his relentless trash talk, beer drinking and cigar smoking, as well as his brawling style -- hasn't fought since Shane Mosley knocked him out in the 12th round in September 2008. Mayorga tried to make the jump to mixed martial arts earlier this year, but King got an injunction to prevent the move. Apparently, they have made up and Mayorga will resume his boxing career. Although King is based in South Florida, the card will be King's first at American Airlines Arena since he promoted Felix Trinidad's junior middleweight title defense against Mamadou Thiam there in July 2000.
• Shannon Briggs was due to return to the United States on Wednesday after being hospitalized with various injuries following a one-sided beatdown at the hands of Vitali Klitschko in their heavyweight title fight in Germany on Oct. 16. Briggs has a broken orbital bone, a broken nose and a severely injured left arm. Empire promoter Greg Cohen told ESPN.com that Briggs had surgery on his left biceps and tendons in the damaged arm Friday. "The doctors said it went well, and he should expect a complete recovery," Cohen said. He added that Briggs "most likely" won't need a second surgery on the arm, which doctors told him was probable in the immediate aftermath of the fight. "But they won't know for sure for six to eight weeks," Cohen said.
• Some notable heavyweights have fights lined up. Former cruiserweight champ-turned-heavyweight Jean-Marc Mormeck (35-4, 22 KOs) faces former heavyweight champ Hasim Rahman (49-7-2, 40 KOs) on Dec. 2 in Paris. Mormeck agreed to a fight with Rahman rather than participate in a four-man IBF box-off designed to find a mandatory challenger for champion Wladimir Klitschko. On Friday night's One Punch Productions card in Charlotte, N.C., heavyweight Kevin Johnson (22-1-1, 9 KOs) faces Charles Davis (19-20-2, 4 KOs). The eight-rounder will be Johnson's first fight since December, when he lost every round in a lifeless performance while challenging titleholder Vitali Klitschko in Switzerland. Also with a fight set up, according to promoter Dan Goossen, is contender Tony Thompson (34-2, 22 KOs). He is scheduled to face Paul Marinaccio (24-5-3, 11 KOs) on Nov. 20 on the Sergio Martinez-Paul Williams undercard at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. Thompson has been in training camp with titleholder David Haye, serving as one of his sparring partners as Haye prepares to defend his belt against Audley Harrison on Nov. 13. Thompson has won three fights in a row since being stopped in the 11th round by champion Wladimir Klitschko in July 2008. Also added to the Nov. 20 undercard: red-hot middleweight prospect Fernando Guerrero (19-0, 15 KOs).
• Middleweight titlist Sebastian Sylvester (33-3-1, 16 KOs) makes his third defense against German countryman Mahir Oral (28-2-2, 11 KOs) on Saturday in Rostock, Germany. Sylvester is coming off a draw with former junior middleweight titlist Roman Karmazin in June. To get ready for Oral, Sylvester had a very long training camp. "After training for 14 weeks, I am more than ready for Oral," Sylvester said. Sylvester also said he expects the fight to go the distance, but "if I hit his chin or his liver, it could be over soon for him." Oral is getting his second shot at a world title, having been stopped in the 10th round by then-titleholder Arthur Abraham in June 2009. "He can hit my chin or my liver as often as he likes. It will not help him," Oral said. "He can waste his energy doing that. I will make the most of my chance and leave as the new champion. I have learned my lesson from the world title fight against Arthur Abraham. Back then, I had not prepared well enough to shake off his heavy shots. But this time everything went well in practice. I am in great shape and I will take the title."
• Golden Boy announced it signed Eric Morel, 35, a former flyweight titlist who claimed an interim bantamweight belt in February with a win against Gerry Penalosa. "I feel better than ever, and I'm enjoying boxing more than ever before," Morel said. "I've got a lot to offer this sport, and I can't wait to see where Golden Boy leads me in the coming years." Morel (42-2, 21 KOs), a 1996 U.S. Olympian originally from Puerto Rico, held a flyweight belt from 2000 to 2003, making five defenses. From 2005 to 2008, Morel was in prison on a sexual assault conviction. Since returning in 2008, Morel has won seven fights in a row. He was supposed to face bantamweight titlist Fernando Montiel in July, but Morel withdrew and was stripped of his interim belt.
"I will do either [122 or 126 pounds], and I can even go down to 118 if that's what they want. There is a lot of emphasis on this fight, and then there will be many from 118 to 126 that I can have. I would like first to clear out 122 and fight all the champions and then move on to other things. But from 118 to 130, bring them on." -- former two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux, considered one of the greatest amateur boxers ever, who has big aspirations after he fights for an interim junior featherweight title in only his seventh pro fight against Ricardo Cordoba on the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito undercard Nov. 13 (HBO PPV).
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