Gamboa, Solis and Lara Score Wins

ARENA-CEO Ahmet Öner was very pleased with the spectacular performance of his rising Cuban stars Yuriorkis Gamboa, Odlanier Solis and Erislandy Lara at the season premiere of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” in front of 3,500 spectators at Terrible’s Primm Valley Casino Resorts in Primm, Nevada. “This was a great night of boxing”, stated Öner. “I think we presented high quality fights and we had a great crowd who turned the arena into a madhouse. I am pretty sure that everybody goes home very happy tonight..”

In the main event fast rising featherweight star Gamboa recovered from an early knockdown again to outclass experienced Roger “Speedy” Gonzalez taking home a 10th round tko-win. If referee Robert Byrd hadn’t stopped the fight only 48 seconds before the final bell “El Ciclon” would have taken home a one-sided unanimous decision win after overwhelming his opponent with his well-known high-speed combinations.

“It’s just fun to watch Yuri move in the ring”, says promoter Öner. “With his aggressive style he is always in for a spectacular show. Some might say that he should have finished his opponent earlier but on the one hand it is very important for Gamboa to go 10 rounds on such a high level, on the other hand you got to give credit to Gonzalez for his heart and his chin. He took some good blows.”

In the co-featured 10-round WBC international championship bout Odlanier Solis defended his title impressively stopping Kevin Burnett after 2:00 minutes of round 8.

“Many people came up to me after that bout and said that they regained a little faith in the heavyweight division”, stated Öner. “And that is exactly what Solis stands for. Surely he can still lose a pound or two but there is no doubt that he got what it takes to become world champion. He is fast and powerful and can handle guys who are way taller than he is.”

Solis was the more aggressive fighter surprising “Big Man” Burnett with fast attacks throughout the fight proving his enormous hand speed. One of those fierce combinations led to the stoppage by referee Jay Nady after the 2004 Olympic gold medallist and three time world amateur champion had stunned his opponent with a hard left hook.

The first TV bout of the night saw 2005 world amateur champion Erislandy Lara score a 1st round tko over Rodrigo Aguiar. Fired up by the enthusiastic mostly Cuban crowd Lara sent his opponent to the canvas at the end of the 1st forcing referee Joe Cortez to stop the bout with only 1 second left in the round.

“Everybody involved in this promotion did a fantastic job”, says Öner. “We will definitely be back in Primm soon – maybe for Gamboa’s first world championship bout.”

“El Ciclon” Gamboa is set to face Elio Rojas for the WBC interim title this spring. The purse bid which was originally set for today has been postponed by the WBC because of the ARENA show in Primm.

Article posted on 10.01.2009

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