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Covington duo pursuing boxing careers around country, world

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Chris Rudd (orange trunks) works out with Corey Somerville in the Covington Boxing Club's gym last week. Photo by Jeff Ireland

To somebody not familiar with the boxing scene in Covington and internationally, the words Flap and Rudd might sound like nautical terms. 

But in the context of boxing, these are the names of two of the best boxers to emerge from the Covington Boxing Club in recent years. 

Chris Rudd, 29, turned pro a couple of years ago. He lost his last fight in March to Petr Petrov, who is now fighting for a world title. 

Rudd (13-2, 8 knockouts) has fought on ESPN numerous times.

Anthony "Flap" Campbell, 23, is currently the second-ranked boxer in USA Boxing's 165-pound division. 

He's traveled to Germany, France, the Dominican Republic and the Ukraine in recent years. 

Campbell is considering a run at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. 

In between pro bouts and international trips, the pair can usually be found in their home gym in Covington working out with the rest of coach Jimmy Glover's stable of young boxers. 

"Both these guys are the heart and soul of the local boxing club," Glover said. "They are a lot of help with the younger amateurs by assisting with training and by just training in the same gym as an example."

Rudd turned pro later than a lot of boxers, but he's optimistic about eventually making it his full-time career.

For now, his typical day includes working 12 hours at a warehouse in Arlington and then coming to the gym for a workout. 

When he returned to work from his fight with Petrov, which was held in South Dakota, he said his co-workers asked him what he had decided. 

"I said, 'What are you guys talking about?'" Rudd said earlier this week after a workout. "I love boxing, but I need something to support my family. I'm not making the money some other fighters are where I can lay off my work. I would love to, but I got some kids at home."

Rudd and his wife are raising a 7-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter. 

"We don't have some of the things here that some other guys have in their gym," Rudd said, "but I'm still going to work just as hard. I want to become a top contender."

Campbell hasn't made the leap to the professional ranks just yet. His bid for a spot on the 2012 Olympic team came up just short. Just one boxer in each weight class makes the Olympic team. 

"I'd like to see him go for it (the Olympic team)," Glover said. "If he did make it, it would mean a lot to him when he turned pro."

Like Rudd, Campbell started boxing in gym when was 10 or 11. 

He got his nickname "Flap" because when he started boxing he kind of slapped at his opponent, which produced a unique sound. 

"It was like a flop, flop, flop sound," Rudd said with a laugh. "Eventually flop became flap and that's what we called him."

It didn't take long for Glover and assistant coach Jimmy Humphrey to recognize Campbell's natural talent. 

"He's probably the most talented boxer we've had come through this program, as far just raw talent," Glover said. "He does so many things right. He was easy to teach because he was so talented."

Campbell has advanced to several National Golden Gloves events over the years and hasn't lost a fight against a boxer in this part of the county in 12 years or so, according to Glover. 

For now, Campbell is continuing to travel with USA Boxing as he weighs the pros and cons of turning pro. 

Rudd was scheduled to fight on ESPN in California this month before his opponent pulled out at the last minute. 

Glover said Banner Promotions, with which Rudd is signed, is currently looking for Rudd's next fight. 

Meanwhile, the duo works out together often, mentoring younger boxers while trying to push their respective careers to the next level. 

"He's been a big influence on Anthony and all the other kids you see here," Glover said about Rudd. "He's like another coach."

Although Rudd is six years older than Campbell, he says they help each other. 

"He's done a lot of things in his amateur career that I didn't," Rudd said. "He looks at he way I train, the way I work. I love Anthony and the way he fights. I think he can be of the best fighters in the world if he works like he's supposed to. I try to give him the confidence and show him what he needs to do to get there."

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