Peden takes IBF crown
22:59 AEDT Wed Feb 23 2005
Robbie Peden has become Australia's newest boxing world champion, stopping American Nate Campbell to claim the IBF super featherweight title in a decision that left the American fuming with perceived bias refereeing.
Referee Johnny Wright stopped the fight seven seconds from the end of the eighth round, with Campbell bleeding profusely from cuts to the left and right eyes and the nose and taking punishment.
After the fight, the Queenslander - a $2.60 outsider for this vacant title - said "this is the beginning".
"None of them would give me a shot at the title because I'm a hard fight," Peden said.
"Now they can come to me, I'll put my belt on the line."
Peden's pride was matched by Campbell's anger, blasting the referee after the fight for deducting a point from the American for a headbutt and cautioning him hitting 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.
The fight ended late in the eighth when Peden had Campbell pinned against the ropes for a sustained pummelling and the American's quick movement had wilted.
Peden was leading on all three judges cards at the time of the stoppage - 68-66, 68-65 and 66-65 with Campbell having a further point deducted.
The enmity between the pair was plain from the time they entered the ring, with an avalanche of trash talking between them since Peden famously knocked out Campbell in March last year when the over-confident American dropped his hands and invited a punch.
Campbell was bleeding from the nose as soon as the second round tonight and by the fourth his right eye was opened up in the most controversial point of the fight.
Campbell claimed he was opened by a headbutt but the referee consulted all three judges before ruling it was from a punch.
Soon after Dr John Jory was asked to make the first of five examinations of cuts above Campbell's eyes.
On the undercard, Sam Soliman knocked out Colombian opponent Miguel Julio in the fourth round but was floored by news after the fight that his chances of a dream bout against undisputed world middleweight champ Bernard Hopkins had moved a step closer.
Leading US promoter Dan Goosen, who was in attendance on the night, will fly back to the US on Monday and would begin negotiations for a Hopkins-Soliman date.
Wollongong's Shannan Taylor defended his IBF Pan-Pacific light middleweight title with a third-round knockout of Uruguayan Ruben Diaz.
Queenslander Sharon Anyos defended her WBF featherweight title against Colombian Neris Rincon, who could not answer the bell for the seventh round and was suspected to have fractured ribs.
Michael Katsidis extended his career record to 15-0 with 13 knockouts by dropping Eduardo Alvarez in the first round.