Yuiorkis Gamboa To Make First Defence Against Guty Espadas Jr?

by James Slater - According to a number of online sources, Cuban sensation and new WBA interim featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa will likely make the first defence of his world title against Mexico's former WBC 126-pound champion Guty Espadas Junior. The fight is up as happening on BoxRec, on July 25th in Yucatan, Mexico..

Gamboa, a future superstar in the opinion of some, is probably entitled to a reasonably non too taxing first defence, but will he get such a first defence of a fight against the hugely experienced 34-year-old?

It's fair to say Espadas, 45-7(28), has been operating under the radar of many fans for the last few years. After losing in just two rounds to Rocky Juarez in December of 2004, the former champ (he ruled from Apr. 2004 to Feb. 2001) took a layoff of well over two years. Coming back in March of 2007, Espadas has strung together seven straight wins, mostly against so-so opposition at best. However, a May 2008 2nd round KO win over Japan's Naoki Matsuda, in what was billed as a WBC featherweight title fight eliminator, got the 34-year-old back in line for a big fight. Now, against the superb, yet occasionally vulnerable Gamboa, Espadas gets that fight.

Going into the July fight, Espadas will likely be a big underdog, even though the fight will be the interim champion's first pro bout in Mexico. Having been in a number of wars, the never too-hard-to-hit Mexican warrior is sure to get hit and hit hard by the speedy 27-year-old. Stopped or knocked out three times in his seven defeats, Espadas has tasted the canvas quickly on two occasions - in his rematch with the great Erik Morales (KO by 3 in Oct. 2003) and by Juarez in his last loss. The rest the veteran took after the Juarez loss may have done him a world of good - and he has not lost a fight since - but the former ruler's punch resistance does not figure to have gotten any better.

Remembered by most fans for his epic first fight with "El Terrible," when he pushed Morales for the full 12 rounds and was in the battle all the way before losing his WBC belt, Espadas will be hoping he can find that form once more when he steps in with Gamboa. If - and it's a big if - he can pull out one last great fight, Espadas may shock Gamboa and give him a real test. But it's not very likely Espadas will derail the Gamboa express.

Blindingly fast and powerful, the 15-0(13) interim champ must be given a real chance to run right over the older man. Vulnerable to punches at times due to his disregard for defence, Gamboa will have to tighten up against future title challengers. However, Espadas, a good puncher if not a lethal one, doesn't look like scoring an upset KO.

Full of heart in his heyday, that Espada asset has almost certainly hung around. No doubt, the challenger will give it all he has in July, and he has been active and he has been winning. Also, let's not forget that Gamboa has been troubled by lesser, if younger fighters in the past - and the interim champ is still learning as a paid athlete.

Espadas will come to fight and he will try to drag Gamboa into a war. He may have his moments, before the sheer speed, class and youthful aggression of "El Ciclon de Guantanamo" takes over in a big way. As is always the case with the Cuban defector, a 1st round win cannot be ruled out, either.

Look for Espadas to go out on his shield inside 6 rounds.

Article posted on 04.05.2009

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