In his reflections on his first career defeat in 1981, boxing legend Thomas Hearns is quoted as saying, “the loss just made me hungry; it made me want to go out and win another title.”
To ‘The Hitman,’ the round 14 TKO he suffered at the hands of ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard was a major learning curve. Not only did the then 22 year old lose his WBA Welterweight crown, but also suffered a dent to his surging momentum.
Instead of letting the result cast a grey cloud over his fistic future however, the young pug used it as a glaring example of the standard he needed to reach.
Using the lessons of defeat in the proceeding 10 years, Hearns would capture titles in another four weight classes and solidify his place among all-time greats.
Fast forward to 2023 and Andres Campos (15-1, 4 KOs) finds himself in a similar frame of mind.
Having lost a wide decision to British IBF World Flyweight champion, Sunny Edwards (20-0, 4 KOs) in June, the Chilean believes the experience of fighting on the global stage is invaluable, for both the in ring and out of ring impact.
“In the fight, I learned that many times you have to be more intelligent than strong and look at the fight round by round,” Campos told The Inner Sanctum.
“I didn’t feel very comfortable and that was thanks to my rival.
“Fighting with him, at his home, was a nice experience where I learned much more than boxing, but also about pressure and managing emotions.”
To complement such personal growth, the 26 year old is now even more driven to achieve his dreams.
While the internal satisfaction that comes from championship success is important, Campos is boxing for more than personal accolades. He is instead fighting to break glass ceilings.
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‘The Crocodile’ wants to become Chile’s first ever World champion, all while representing his home nation with pride and honour.
In whichever corner of the globe he finds himself slinging leather, Campos will do so in the hope of one day bringing his homeland a form of glory.
“I want to do it so that future generations know that it can be done,” he said.
“We do not have a world champion in Chile and I am 100% sure that I will be the first to be one and make history.
“For me, representing my country is one of the greatest feelings I have.
“The country really appreciates the effort that one makes and I am looking forward to doing it again very soon.”
To continue straight on a course for gold though, Campos must next get through Filipino Bienvenido Ligas (15-3-2, 9 KOs) on September 9 in Burleigh Heads.
A win will not only secure the victor the IBO Intercontinental title, but also earn them a high ranking with the sanctioning body.
Although the IBO belt is not considered one of boxing’s major championships, it’s presence around the waist of the South American would, in his mind, serve as a ground breaking symbol.
Fighting for a second time in Australia, Campos is ready to shake up the sport.
“For me, any World title is going to be just as important to bring it to Chile,” he concluded.
“The IBO is an organization that has been growing a lot and has had well-known champions. If I can be one of them, I’m happy to do so.
“I’m very excited to fight in Australia again. Last time they treated me very well and I have no doubt that this time it will be the same.
“I come with quite a bit of momentum and I’m not going to waste it.”
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