For this edition of Controversial Clashes we return to poor scorecards, for one of the worst decisions in recent memory. The bout is from 2010 and the decision, now more than a decade on, is still completely baffling. Then again one of the men involved has had a very questionable career, with his long and inexplicable reigns never making much sense given his long stretches of inactivity.
Beibut Shumenov (8-1, 6) Vs Gabriel Campillo (19-2, 6) II
The man who has had the weird career is Kazakh enigma Beibut Shumenov. Early in his career he looked really exciting and the type of fighter we could get behind. He had hunger and desire to race to a world title, he was taking on notable fighters from very early on and ticked a lot of boxes. In just his third bout he was taking on veteran Shannon Miller, and then stepped up to Lavell Finger just a month later. In his 9th bout he lost a close decision for the WBA Light Heavyweight title, to Gabriel Campillo, and 5 months later he would get a second shot at Campillo.
Despite facing decent competition it was unclear what Shumenov had actually done to deserve a shot, and in recent years his connections to the WBA have been very interesting, with the Kazakh having had some very questionable world title challengers when he's held world titles, and avoided being stripped, or being stripped and then reinstated, in very odd and strange looking circumstances. In fact as we write this, in May 2020*, the WBA still list Shumenov as their Cruiserweight champion despite having not fought since July 2018.
Entering the bout as the WBA Light Heavyweight champion Campillo was a man who lacked in terms of power and financial backing, but more than made up for that in terms of skills, boxing IQ, speed and a brilliant ability to dictate the tempo of bouts. Campillo had proven himself to be a road warrior and had won the title with an upset in Argentina, against Hugo Hernan Garay. His first defense had seen him beat Shumenov, in Kazakhstan, before various dramas clouded over the bout, including accusations of drug testing irregularities and delayed payments of his purse.
Unlike their first bout, which took place in Kazakhstan, this one was in the US and was much more visible for fans in the west. Sadly for Shumenov the bout being visible in the West meant that more fans saw what went down.
The first round was a very good one for Shumenov, who was aggressive landed solid shots and easily out worked Campillo. He put everything in his shots and whilst he did land more than the defending champion he was using a lot of gas early on. The second round was a better one for Campillo, though Shumenov was again throwing heavy leather throughout. In round 3 Shumenov picked up the pace early on, but Campillo walked through it, as if it was nothing. Even when Shumenov landed clean head shots it didn't seem to phase Campillo in the slightest. On the other hand when Campillo let his hands go on forced Shumenov backwards, and despite not being a puncher it seemed that Campillo's shots were having more of an effect.
After a busy start by both men, with the first 4 rounds being really good and competitive, the tempo from the challenger began to slow. This lead to Campillo taking control, and in a number of rounds it looked like a tiring Shumenov was on the verge of being stopped. He looked spent in rounds 7, 8 and 9 and struggled to land clean even when he picked up the pace late on, as he began to fight on fumes. The clean shots of Campillo seemed to be the eye catching ones and the more consistent ones.
After 12 rounds it seemed that Shumenov had been game but lost. He had had his lack of professional experience shown up and his lack of stamina had proven to be an issue. He had shown his toughness, and no one could question his heart or desire, but he had been out boxed, out skilled, out landed.
Going into the final round Colonel Bob Sheridan stated that he felt Shumenov needed a KO to win. It was a feeling echoed by ourselves, and many others. Despite needing the KO he failed to come close to scoring it and we went to the judges after the 12th round.
It seemed a clear win for Cmapillo bot the judges, or more specifically two of them, went with Shumenov, scoring the bout 115-113 and a truly bizarre 117-111 in his favour. Only the card of Levi Martinez, who went 117-111 in favour of Campillo, seemed to make any sense.
Sadly after winning the title with this bout we never saw Shumenov give Campillo a deserved rubber match. Instead he defended against the likes of a 40 year old William Joppy, a 38 year old Danny Santiago and fringe contender Enrique Ornelas.
*Please note a lot of our articles were written during lockdown, things regarding Shumenov's reign may have changed by the time this goes live in September.
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features