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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Campbell facing felony charges
Police say the Tampa lightweight beat an ex-girlfriend. A life sentence is possible.
By JOHN C. COTEY
Published October 10, 2007
TAMPA - Local boxing promoter Terry Trekas sent an e-mail last week saying he was pulling Nate Campbell out of an upcoming fight in Chicago because the opponent was having visa problems and his fighter had an injured rib.
The real reason probably has something to do with this: Campbell has been sitting in Hillsborough County's Orient Road jail since he was charged Sept. 27 with forcing himself into his ex-girlfriend's home and beating her up, according to records.
Campbell was scheduled to appear in court this morning with his lawyer, Ty Trayner, to attempt to persuade Hillsborough Circuit Judge Walter Heinrich, who already has denied Campbell bail, to let the Jacksonville native, who now lives and trains in Tampa, out of jail.
The Hillsborough Sheriff's Office arrested Campbell on felony charges of armed burglary of a dwelling with assault, false imprisonment and tampering with a witness. The charges could carry a life sentence. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence battery.
Campbell appeared in court Sept. 28, and court records show the judge had concerns about the fighter's mental health.
Trekas on Tuesday described the incident as a minor fight over money. The deputy's report paints a more harrowing picture:
At 9 a.m. on Sept. 27, Campbell punched the victim, whose name was not in the report, in the face as she entered her home, then forced his way in and continued to batter her.
She tried to call 911, but Campbell grabbed the phone and threw it. He then threw the victim to the ground and began strangling her.
She kicked herself free and Campbell pulled out a black handgun and put it in his mouth, threatening to kill himself. The victim got the gun away, but was pushed into the kitchen counter and to the floor, where Campbell slammed her head into the floor.
The victim had a contusion to her right eye, and abrasions to her neck and elbows, reports state.
Trekas said Campbell did not have a gun, that it was actually a cigar lighter.
Campbell is the No. 1-ranked lightweight by the IBF and was scheduled to fight Saturday on the undercard of the Juan Diaz-Julio Diaz unification title fight. With a victory, Campbell was promised a shot at the winner of the Diaz fight early next year.
Trekas said canceling the fight denied Campbell a $22,500 payday, and that was at the root of the Sept. 27 incident. "The financial implications of that set him off," Trekas said.
But the fight wasn't canceled until a week later, the same day Campbell was denied bail for a second time, leaving his release in doubt.
Trayner said that is the reason the fight was called off.
"He told me he didn't think Campbell could be focused," Trayner said. "All this happened before the fight was canceled."
Heinrich denied bail on Friday and ordered domestic violence counseling for Campbell. Trayner said counseling has been scheduled and he hopes the judge will set bail for Campbell today.
TARVER BOUT SCHEDULED: Tampa light heavyweight Antonio Tarver (25-4, 18 KOs) will face George "Honey Boy" Blades (21-3, 15 KOs) on Dec. 1, according to fightnews.com. The 12-round main event will be on Showtime. No site has been selected.
Times staff writer Colleen Jenkins contributed to this report. John C. Cotey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 909-4612.