Yuriorkis Gamboa-Jorge Solis Set For Atlantic City March 26th

By James Slater - Yuriorkis Gamboa, one of the most consistently exciting fighters in the sport today, craves the big, big fights; yet for the time being he is remaining patient. Already holder of the WBA and IBF featherweight belts, the former amateur great from Cuba has his Boardwalk, Atlantic City debut on March 26th, when he will face tough Mexican Jorge Solis. Both of the unbeaten 29-year-old’s belts will be on the line.

No easy fight for Gamboa by any stretch, the March clash sees him going in with a reigning interim title holder. Solis, 40-2-2(29) holds the interim version of the WBA 130-pound belt, and he will drop down four pounds for the shot at Gamboa. At age 31, Solis, a former IBF featherweight title challenger who has been stopped just once, represents a potentially tough test for the Miami-based Cuban sensation..

In his sole stoppage loss, Solis, known as “Coloradito,” came unstuck against the mighty Manny Pacquiao. The April 2007 fight contested the WBC international title, and the Mexican was KO’d in the 8th-round. Since then, Solis has won seven and lost on points to Cristobal Cruz (in the IBF 126-pound challenge).

Solis enjoyed a good 2010, as he won and defended the WBA interim belt he holds - retaining it on two occasions. And Solis has beaten some good men. Cruz was out-pointed in an earlier meeting, and Monty Meza Clay and the unbeaten Francisco Cordero were both stopped. Solis has also boxed a No-Contest with the superb Humberto Soto. It’s clear to see then, that Solis is a very good world class fighter. If he feels no ill effects after having shifted those four-pounds, the challenger might give Gamboa some serious problems.

As fans know, the still-to-reach-his-peak Gamboa has shown vulnerabilities in the past. Knocked down quite a few times (but never seriously hurt), the Cuban defector who captured Olympic gold in 2004 and who is now 19-0(15), has been compared to the great Felix Trinidad - in that “Tito,” like Gamboa, got put down early in a number of fights only to come roaring back and get himself a win. Some fans feel that one day, Gamboa will be put down and that he will remain down, unless he improves his leaky defence and occasional lack of concentration.

Gamboa loves to take an opponent out, and sometimes he forgets about the punches coming back at him. Can Solis, a guy with 29 KO’s, hurt or even drop Gamboa? The fight should definitely be exciting. Solis is a warrior with skills, while Gamboa always has that predatory instinct. Gamboa’s amazing speed of hand may be the difference in this one. Solis won’t go easily, believing as he does that he can grab both belts with a win, and it took Pac-Man quite some time to get rid of him.

If Gamboa can stop Solis, and if he can do so in less rounds than it took the pound-for-pound king, he will make quite a statement. Something tells me this fight will go the distance, however. I like Gamboa to retain with a wide decision on the score-cards. There will be some exciting action along the way though.

Article posted on 21.01.2011

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