When it’s time to hang up the boxing gloves or cleats, many pro-athletes turn to Hollywood for the next chapter in their careers. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bubba Smith and Chuck Norris are just a few of the names that have traded in the gym for tinsel town. In the case of Bruno G. Campos is quite the opposite.  Campos started working as an actor while at the same time training for long hours at the gym to be a pro-fighter.  We spoke to Campos in Los Angeles about his upcoming fight on April 21st in Burbank California.

CB: How did you get into the sport?

BC: I started training in boxing over 20 years ago and the first time I got in the ring I fell in love with the sport. I felt a rush of adrenaline that I had never experienced before and I needed more of it. I was addicted to boxing, so I continued to train and it helped me overcome many of the issues that I was going through at the time and that most kids at that age usually go through. Thanks to boxing I was able to approach everything in my life being level headed and without fear or anger. I learned to walk away from moments that could have escalated to more violent situations, and I became more in control of my life and my emotions.

CB: Who is your biggest inspiration as a fighter?
BC: As a kid I remember always watching Julio Cesar Chavez fight, but at that age I didn’t really understand the sport. Still, I remember how we as Latinos came together just to watch him fight. He was an amazing fighter and amazing role model. I wanted to grow up and be a fighter just like him. As I got older I gravitated towards admiring Oscar De La Hoya as a fighter. I liked him more because back then it was an amazing feeling to have a Mexican born in the USA be on top of his game.

CB: You have previously trained as a boxer, how is mixed martial arts training different from your previous boxing training?

BC: Mixed Martial Arts is a discipline. I wish I could have started training when it first hit the scene many years ago. I have a strong boxing foundation, but now I’m incorporating kicks and wrestling into my arsenal. Mixed Martial Arts is a lot more scientific than what people realize it is. Preparing for this sport takes so much more physical training and mental agility, as well as multiple other elements that a fighter has to implement into their lives to make it work. As an MMA Fighter I have to constantly react, but also simultaneously think about being offensive and defensive while doing so. I have to watch my opponent and rely on my instincts to guide me to that “W”. After my experience with MMA training I have earned a new respect for the sport and to all the fighters that have the discipline to succeed in it.

CB: What does it mean for you to be a fighter?

BC: I take pride when people refer to me as a fighter. I feel that one has to earn being called by that title, so I am very proud when people call me one. I train hard. I wake up early when everyone else is asleep, and I feel that I am not sacrificing anything by staying in when people are out partying or getting drunk. I am preparing my body for the fight, so I steer clear of processed foods and saturated products; I meal prep when I can, eat clean, stay away from beer and alcohol and I definitely quit drinking sodas and store bought juices. Even more, I always drink a gallon of water a day! It takes strong mental strength to endure the all the training it takes to be a fighter and to stay sharp in the ring. I need to be strong both in the gym and in the ring. I have had to push my body to limits that I never thought I could, and that is why I take so much pride in being called a fighter.

CB: You had a personal battle with cancer, how does that relate to this fight?

BC: Becoming a fighter was something I always wanted for myself, but that I had not been able to achieve. I went through lots of preparation and training but never did more than just smoker fights and training. I wanted to be a pro-fighter, but did not achieve it because I was afraid of trying and afraid of failure.

After I was diagnosed with and went through cancer I was certain that I was done. I thought: “That’s it for me!” and “I’m going to die”. That moment when you hear that you could possibly die changes you. All of a sudden my life took a dramatic turn. I had a bucket list of things I needed to accomplish before I died.

When I thought I was going to die, I realized that there were many things I had not done simply because I was afraid to do them. I wasn’t afraid of death itself, or of not surviving cancer, but at the time I wanted to take advantage of what little time I had to spend time with my family, my friends and to be able to achieve anything I had on my bucket list. When I survived cancer, I made a promise to myself to live my truth. From then on I strive to live my life as happy as I can.

When my illness was done and over with I had survived, but my body weight increased significantly and I turned into a heavy person. I decided to take control of my life and leaned out. I was then approached to become a professional fighter and this time I didn’t hesitate. I took that opportunity and fearlessly accepted! Now I’m happy. I’m proud. I’m tough and I’m a fighter.

CB: What separates you from the other fighters in your division?

I can’t speak for the other fighters, but I’m hungry! I have gone through many years of training with some of the best, world-renowned trainers and they have passed their wisdom on to me. I am dedicated to the sport. I eat, sleep and live the sport. I wake up and train. I eat right, and continue my training. When I step into the cage, I know I’m prepared physically and mentally. I have God behind me and I know whatever happens in that cage is meant to be. I put in the work and I know I’ll be in there giving it my 100%.

CB: Do you consider yourself to be ultra-competitive? Why or why not?

ABSOLUTELY! You can’t be a boxer without being completely competitive. You can’t be a mixed martial artist without being ultra-competitive. Being a fighter requires you to be that way and it becomes a lifestyle! I am competitive in all aspects of my life. I always want to do my best; whether it’s in my fighting, or my acting, but what I always want to be the best at is being the best father to my daughter! I love my life and the journey fighting is taking me through, as well as the amazing doors that are opening up for me.

CB: What would you consider to be your biggest strengths as a fighter?

My biggest strengths as a fighter would be my defense and countering. I have always been a defensive fighter and have stepped up my game learning to be a rapid counter puncher. I love being in the cage watching the other fighter trying to figure out how he’s going to come at me.

CB: How are you able to keep focused and recover after a hard hit?

Photo: Peggy McIntaggart Seagren

You really don’t think about any of that. Once you step in the ring or the cage anything everything disappears. You don’t hear or see the crowd. All you do see is the other person in front of you. As a fighter, your adrenaline is so pumped and you become so fueled that when you get hit with that first punch, you don’t think about pain. What happens is that something turns on in you!

CB: In three sentences, tell us about a day in the life of fighter Bruno G. Campos.
I wake up at around 6am and eat a banana, piece of toast, do my runs, cardio, road-work, swim and whatever torcher my trainer has in store for me before I go for a breakfast of egg white veggies omelet, juice, and then rest for a few hours depending on my day’s schedule.

Around 2:00 PM I’ll return to the gym to work on my fighting for about 3-4 hours depending on whether I’m focusing on ground, stand-up or conditioning until about 6:00 PM when I head home.

Depending on what day of the week it is I’ll either go to my acting class with Bobbie Chance in Sherman Oaks from 7:00 PM until about midnight, or I’ll pick up my daughter from school and I’m hers for the rest of the day as well.



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This story was originally published at http://www.killersportsbuzz.com/2018/04/16/actor-bruno-g-campos-the-story-of-a-true-fighter/.