By: Justin Felisko
PUEBLO, Colo. – Boudreaux Campbell has big aspirations for 2021, but the 2020 PBR World Finals event winner will have to wait a few more weeks before beginning the upcoming Unleash The Beast season.
Campbell confirmed to PBR.com that he underwent surgery on his right free hand/wrist Monday. The 2020 Rookie of the Year expects to be out for about a month, and he will have to miss the Unleash The Beast: American Roots Edition season opener in Ocala, Florida, on Jan. 16-17.
“I will be out for at least the first three events,” Campbell said Tuesday morning. “It’s definitely not what I wanted to do, but I’m glad to get it fixed so I can come back stronger. I hate missing these first couple of events. I was really looking forward to them.”
Campbell is targeting a return to competition in February, and potentially as early as the Feb. 13-14 PBR Del Rio Invitational.
“We will see how I am feeling at the end of this month, and hopefully I will be ready to come back,” he said.
Campbell believes he’s had a broken scaphoid bone in his right wrist for quite some time. He then aggravated it during the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which only added to his frustrations at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Campbell struggled mightily at the NFR after entering the event in contention for the PRCA’s bull riding championship. He was the No. 3-ranked bull rider in the PRCA entering Round 1, only $6,458.63 out of the No. 1 spot, but he went 1-for-10 and finished 10th in the PRCA standings.
“Man, I just had my head up my ass and didn’t ride worth a damn,” Campbell said. “That is why I want to make the NFR so bad again this year. I need to get back up there and do some good this time.”
Dr. Randolph Gibbs performed the 2.5-hour surgery on Monday.
“My scaphoid was broken in half, and they had to take a bone graft out of my wrist and put it in between my scaphoid and screw them back together,” Campbell explained. “Hopefully they fuse back, and if not, they have to go back in there and take that whole scaphoid bone out and fuse my whole hand.”
Campbell plans on riding full-time in the PBR this season while also still rodeoing when he can. He was the only bull rider to qualify for both the PBR Finals and NFR in 2020.
Missing a few events to begin the 2021 season will not hinder Campbell’s goals, and he will be a trendy sleeper pick as a young rider to watch this year.
Campbell shockingly won the PBR Rookie of the Year title by going 4-for-5 at the PBR World Finals, winning $368,500, to finish 2020 No. 3 in the PBR world standings. He began the event ranked No. 33 in the world standings.
Campbell competed part-time in the PBR in 2020, ultimately riding at only five Unleash The Beast regular-season events and six Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour events.
His World Finals victory was the sole reason for his Top-5 finish in the world standings after he finished his first season on the premier series 10-for-18 (55%) with four Top 10 finishes. Campbell, who also was a member of the victorious Team USA squad at the 2020 Global Cup USA, punched his ticket to the World Finals by riding I’m Legit Too for a career-best 91.5 points in Lincoln, Nebraska.
“I am not going to show up not trying to win the whole thing,” Campbell said. “It is pointless not to be looking to win. I plan on showing up and riding my bulls and having the highest riding percentage, and seeing where that takes me. Staying on and doing what it takes to win.”
Two-time World Champion and CBS Sports analyst Justin McBride said Campbell will need to improve in 2021 to enter the world title conversation, but he expects him to keep making progress in the right direction.
“It looks like we got Boudreaux coming in for a full year this year,” McBride said. “Boudreaux still has a long way to go. The NFR showed that when he had nine bulls to go away from his hand. But, the thing I like about Boudreaux is he is willing to get better. He doesn’t think he is as good as he can be right now. He is willing to get better, and he puts forth a lot of effort, and he has a good attitude. That will help a long way.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Photo courtesy of Christopher Thompson/Bull Stock Media
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