With talk of retirement looming if another bad defeat occured, Gabriel Campillo resurrected his career with a fifth round cuts stoppage over previously undefeated Thomas Williams Jr. on Friday Night Fights.
Williams started quickly in the first two rounds with hard hooks that kept Campillo on the defensive. While the majority of the shots didn’t land clean, Campillo found himself being knocked off-balance several times and struggling to mount any consistent offensive attacks.
The tide began to subtly change in the third as Williams Jr. became labored in his movement. His punches, while still hard, became telegraphed and his balance sloppy. Campillo pressed matters by scoring well with his southpaw right jabs and left uppercuts that busted Williams’ nose and had him in retreat to end the round.
The fourth featured cuts on both fighters but drastically different reactions. Campillo was cut above his left eye but continued to move forward and work behind the jab. Williams Jr. was cut above the left eye and went into full retreat, recoling away from any exchanges.
Campillo continued dominating the action in the fifth as Williams pawed at his cut left eye and simply covered up whenever Campillo fired off exchanges.
At the conclusion of the fifth, the ringside doctor ruled that Williams couldn’t see out of the left eye, prompting the stoppage.
Williams falls to 17-1 (12 KOs) while Campillo improves to 24-6-1 (11 KOs)
Since Williams was viewed as a lower Top 10 to Top 15 guy at light-heavyweight, this win essentially puts Campillo in that spot. Being that he’s not tied down to Showtime nor HBO, Campillo could find himself as a potential opponent for a myriad of guys like Adonis Stevenson, Isaac Chilemba, Jeurgen Braehmer or even Lucian Bute. In the IBF, where Bernard Hopkins is champion, Campillo was ranked #10 and Williams #6. The guys above them are as follows: Erik Skoglund (#5), Sean Monaghan (#4), Jean Pascal (#3), a vacancy at the #2 spot, and Nadjib Mohammedi at #1.
As for Williams, you can argue that the doctor did him a favor. If that fight continued, Campillo would have forced him to quit after a few more humiliating rounds that may have done irreparable damage to Williams’ psyche.