In light of the recent controversy surrounding the ending of the Nate Campbell - Timothy Bradley fight, there seems to be a certain cynicism in the boxing world, surrounding the possibility that the result will be overturned. Now, with all of the corruption in boxing, it is not unlikely that an incomprehensible decision will be rendered, yet as one of the most ardent cynicists myself, there is unfairness to this concern this time around.
James Toney vs. Hasim Rahman took place less that one year ago, in the same state, with many of the same officials present, and the exact same scenario took place. This was also a fight that ended in the same round, and also featured two former world champions. That match-up also featured a fighter, Rahman, whose vision was impaired by the effects of a head butt, rather than a cut caused by a head butt. Now, even though this distinction is a gray area, as a cut is external, and requires no faith on behalf of the doctor, the result was the same.
The doctor stopped the fight, and awarded the TKO victory to Toney. Of course, this was incorrect, as whatever damage that was caused, was clearly caused by something other than a legal blow, and therefore should not victimize the fighter who is on the receiving end. After the state athletic commission reviewed the situation, the result was overturned. I was amazed no one on the Showtime broadcasting team mentioned this precedent, even as the issue of overturning the Bradley - Campbell decision was being discussed.
It's true that overturning results is rare, but it is not unprecedented, especially when opinion is of less consequence. Decisions are difficult to overturn, because no matter how insane or obviously corrupt someone's judgments might be, it is difficult to disprove them as the trusted opinions of a licensed official. However, there is no real issue of difference of opinion here. The cut and subsequent retina damage was clearly caused by an accidental head butt. The fight was stopped in the third round, which means the result should be a no decision. Period! There is no other way to look at it. It was obviously not two grazing punches against the gloves that took place afterwards. Logic should be the only true law, and this case is a perfect opportunity to make that point.
So, here's hoping that California will once again make the right decision, and not bow to promoter or network pressure to push both fighters forward with their careers. To the promoters, I would say, stand aside, and let justice happen. It doesn't matter anyway. They don't necessarily need to fight again, but the result change is the right thing to do. Either way, Campbell is not winning a title, and Bradley is still undefeated.