Gamboa wins, but not without Boo's

Yuriorkis Gamboa10.10.09 - By Paul Strauss: At Buffalo Bill's Star arena, in Primm, Nevada, Yuriorkis Gamboa showed once again that he has all of the necessary tools to quickly climb up the ladder to a title fight. He is extremely fast, and is very accurate and hits hard. However, in his matchup with Roger Gonzalez, he also employed some extracurricular activities. Referee Robert Byrd did him a favor by not taking away a point(s) for repeatedly pushing. It appeared he was doing his best impression of a young George Foreman.

But, he did come away with a TKO, although questionable, over Roger Gonzalez. It was questionable in the sense of a quick stoppage, as there were only 48 seconds left in the fight, and Referee Byrd could have legitimately given Gonzalez time to have his mouth piece replaced. That probably would have been enough for him to recover from Gamboa's latest onslaught and make it through the remaining few seconds of the one-sided fight..

There is no question that Gamboa, with few exceptions, dominated the main event. He is so skilled that he can fight any kind of fight.......i.e. on the inside, or from a distance, or combination of the two. But, at times he apparently feels the need to resort to dirty tactics, which is something that will not endear him to the fans. He also employs what can only be called a "Fred Sanford" move. That was the shadow boxing move Fred would comically display when bluffing an attack. He would feint up to the ceiling with his right and down to the floor with his left. Unbelievably, Gamboa displays a similar move, which is foolish and potentially dangerous.

In the 2nd round, Gonzalez proved that to be true, when he overcame Gamboa's speed with a properly timed looping right hand that caught Gamboa on the left side of the head and put him down for a short count. The little Cuban arose quickly, and seemed more embarrassed than hurt.

Other than for that fleeting moment, Gonzalez was outclassed, but proved to be a tough opponent. He exhibited a pretty tight defense, and had a few more moments when he gave his fans hope for an upset. He occasionally would land good body shots, and would just miss with the right.

It sounded like there were more than just a few fans who would have relished the possibility of an upset. Fans (not the Cubans) would express their displeasure when seeing Gamboa use his elbow in close to create an opening, or to once again push (shove) his opponent back. He repeatedly pulled Gonzalez' head down, and sometimes, would hold and hit. But, he was smart enough to do the holding on the opposite side from the referee, so he escaped warning.

There's no denying though the youngster has tremendous talent. He has everything a fighter needs to be great. He is lightning fast and throws good combinations, both to the head and body. He also is a sharp shooter, and hits with power. He needs to dump the Fred Sanford move, though. When Fred did it, people thought It was hilarious, but it's not so funny when a promising pro does it. He should stop, because as he climbs the ladder, a more talented opponent might cancel his show.

His Cuban comrade Odlanier Solis Fonte also got a stoppage, but he wasn't impressive in doing so.. First of all, he came into the fight in poor condition at 259 lbs.. He's fortunate Kevin Burnett, his opponent, was also in poor condition. Burnett had an excuse though. He received only 1 and 1/2 weeks notice of the fight.

If Solis, a former gold medalist, is the future of the heavyweight division, then it's still going to be in trouble. He is not impressive as a pro. He plods. He leans down and in, and appears to be wide open for an uppercut. He doesn't move his head much, and he is not a big puncher.

His opponent Kevin Burnett was game, but inexperienced. At 6'7", he was some what of a challenge, but he negated his size advantage by failing to fight from the proper distance, thereby opening himself up to counters. He did a pretty good job of protecting himself when Solis would flurry, but he fired his jab from in too close, Solis would counter over it with a right, or a left hook..

In the eighth round, Solis caught Burnett with a good left hook counter. The punch seemed to land on the temple area, and immediately had Burnett on shaky ground. His legs were wobbly, and his senses were dulled. Solis quickly fired off a right that also landed, and Referee Jay Nady jumped in to stop the action at 2:00 of the eighth round. There was no objection from trainer Pat Burns, who told Teddy Atlas between rounds that he was thinking of having the fight stopped himself, because Burnett was taking too much punishment, and that Burnett was young and there would be another day.

Most of the excitement about Solis seems to center on his success in the Olympics. However, Teddy Atlas, and guest studio commentator Bernard Hopkins both pointed out that he Solis needs to get his shape. That's number one.

Brian Kenny put Hopkins on the spot a bit when asking for his predictions of upcoming fights. Surprisingly, Hopkins picked the young bull Juan Diaz over Marquez, but cautioned that it will be a very tough fight. When further prompted by Kenny, he also reluctantly offered his opinion that Sugar Shane Mosley will come away with a close decision against Antonio Margarito (who he kept calling Mayorga?). Bernard qualified his remarks by saying that in order for Shane to accomplish the victory, "He will need to fight a perfect fight. He will have to bring his A game." Cant you imagine hearing the Tijuana Tornado saying, Its not going to be a game!

Article posted on 10.01.2009

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