Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report

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Terence Crawford Stops Yuriorkis Gamboa in Nine To Retain WBO Lightweight Title

Crawford - Gamboa22

 

 

By. BrotherJR

June 29, 2014

 

This week on my boxing podcast show we had a round-table discussion on the status of American boxing. One of the questions we asked was where was the next American boxing star? Well we may have had an answer to that question on last night in Omaha, Nebraska. Fighting in front of 10,943 raucous fans at the CenturyLink Center in his hometown of Omaha, Terence Crawford stopped Yuriorkis Gamboa in nine rounds to retain his WBO Lightweight title. This was Crawford’s first title defense in clearly one of the better fights of 2014.

What looked to be a tactical fight going in proved to be far from that as this was an intense, action packed fight. Gamboa (23-1, 16 KOs), a former Featherweight and Jr. Lightweight world champion, fought with fire and passion early using his speed, athleticism and unorthodox style to cause problems for the switch hitting Crawford landing right hands and left hooks. The defending champion Crawford (24-0, 17 KOs) was having problems figuring Gamboa out for the first four rounds and the underdog Gamboa had the edge. In round four Crawford, who fought the first three rounds out of the orthodox stance, came out fighting as a southpaw and things started to change. That tactical move paid off with a minute to go in round five as Crawford struck, knocking down Gamboa with a counter right hook. A follow-up assault by Crawford had Gamboa badly hurt and his legs wobbly as round five ended.

From that point on, Gamboa was never the same. Though he fought hard and proved dangerous throughout Crawford had figured him out. The champion begin to time Gamboa, using his physical advantages in height and reach to box and counter Gamboa with hard shots whenever Gamboa would try to jump in with punches. The size of the naturally bigger Crawford started to take toll as well. In round six Crawford began to use to the jab and lateral movement to good effect as he out-boxed Gamboa landing solid punches to the head as well as key hooks and uppercuts to the body. Round seven turned out to be another big round for Crawford has he wobbled Gamboa several times and in the eighth Crawford completely dominated, once again hurting Crawford and knocking down again with another counter right hook.  At the end of the eighth the Omaha crowd was on its feet and Gamboa was once again hurt and wobbly.

As good as this fight was after eight round, it went to another level in round nine. Crawford continued the onslaught early in the round hurting Gamboa with a left hook. Then suddenly, as Crawford tried to follow-up, Gamboa stunned Crawford with a counter right hand. Gamboa tried to attack, but he just didn’t have enough to cause further damage as Crawford did a good job of biding his time by moving around to clear his head. With fourty seconds to go in the round, Crawford put Gamboa down for a third time in the fight via a left hook. A right uppercut put Gamboa down for the second time in the round and fourth time overall in the fight and at that point referee Genaro Rodriguez had seen enough and waved the fight off at the 2:53 mark of round nine.

This was a terrific win for Crawford, a kind of win that makes him a potential future star. He showed skill, power, and a willingness to engage, all under the pressure cooker of fighting on HBO main event fight for the first time in career in his hometown. A really fight down the line for Crawford would be a contest against Jr. Lightweight champion Mikey Garcia who is currently on the shelf due to issues with his promoter Top Rank. Other possibilities could a jump up to Jr. Welterweight and maybe an eventual clash against Manny Pacquiao.

As for Gamboa, his stock rose in defeat. He gave a terrific effort and fought hard all the way until the end. Could the year-long layoff have had a toll? Maybe. And the size factor probably played a role as well. However, that doesn’t take away from how he performed. It seems at this point that a move back down to Jr. Lightweight would be beneficial for him. One thing that’s for sure, Gamboa has plenty of big fights ahead of him.

Whether Crawford – Gamboa was the fight of the year so far in 2014 is up to debate. However, I will say that this fight was my favorite fight of the year so far. Ultimately it was the size and power of Crawford coupled with his boxing ability that proved too much for the Cuban defector Gamboa who fought his heart out and gained from this fight even though he was stopped. This was an outstanding fight with two skilled fighters deciding to go at it and fight, making this a very entertaining contest. And against the backdrop of Crawford fighting in his hometown, this was indeed a special night not just for Crawford, but for boxing as well.

 

 

 

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June 29, 2014 - Posted by | Blog, Boxing | , ,

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