American Nate Campbell pleads with referee John Wright, of Lennox Head, during the world title bout in Melbourne.
American Nate Campbell pleads with referee John Wright, of Lennox Head, during the world title bout in Melbourne.

Cop it sweet, Nate!

By Steve Spinks and AAP

Lennox Head's International Boxing Federation referee, John Wright, reckons American Nate Campbell is a sore loser.

Campbell was defeated by Australian Robbie Peden for the IBF super featherweight world title at Melbourne's Vodafone Arena on Wednesday night after Wright stopped the fight seven seconds from the end of the eighth round.

Wright, an international judge and referee for 25 years, felt the need to defend his decision yesterday after the American told waiting media after the bout that the Lennox Head referee was biased.

"He's just a sore loser," Wright told The Northern Star.

"I'm not losing any sleep over it.

"The IBF supervisor and one of the biggest promoters from the States said that it was a good stop."

Peden was declared the winner when the fight was stopped with Campbell bleeding profusely from cuts to both eyes, the nose and absorbing a huge amount of punishment.

However, after the fight,Campbell let rip at the 62-year-old referee, who had deducted a point from the American for a low blow and then further cautioned him for hitting Peden with the heel of his hand.

"It was hard for me to fight everybody ? you can't fight the referee," Campbell said.

"I would never fight here again, never, not against anybody.

"I was done a grave injustice tonight.

"I feel like I was taken advantage of.

"I will look back at this and laugh, I'm sure ? but it won't be anytime soon."

Campbell did not anticipate any re-match with Peden, particularly given his refusal to return to these shores.

But Wright is adamant he got it right.

"The reason I stopped the fight was because he copped nine or 10 unanswered punches," the ref said.

"Some of them were pretty big ones.

"An Aussie guy in their corner who was helping them said they were talking about throwing in the towel themselves."

Wright went on to say that he warned the American three times about low blows before finally deducting a point and he invited the doctor into the ring five times to check Campbell's cut eyes.

"I cautioned him about hitting Peden with the inside of the glove on purpose, as well," Wright said.

"And I didn't take a point off for that."

Peden was leading on all three judges cards at the time of the stoppage ? 68-66, 68-65 and 66-65.

But Wright did concede he made one mistake during the bout.

"The first cut he got on one of his eyes, I thought Peden hit him with a left hook going in close," he said.

"I didn't see it, so I asked the other judges and they didn't see it either.

"So I called it a punch, but the television replay showed it was an accidental head clash."

It was an interesting return to Melbourne for Wright.

A former welterweight, the Lennox Head man fought the main support bout to the Lionel Rose v Alan Rudkin world bantamweight title fight in Melbourne in 1969.

But on his return, Wright was forced to wait three hours in the aircraft because of a toxic spill scare at Tullamarine Airport.



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