Gamboa's victory speech somewhat of a surprise?

By Paul Strauss: Yuriorkis "El Cicion Guantanmo" Gamboa managed a 8th round TD over southpaw Daniel Ponce De Leon in HBO's featured bout at Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, New Jersey last night. De Leon was a big underdog, but seemingly managed to make a tough fight for Gamboa. Most experts thought that Gamboa would be much too fast and powerful for De Leon, but De Leon's awkward stance and rhythm proved troublesome for the little Cuban.

On paper Gamboa managed a shut out or close to it in the minds of all the judges, as well as unofficial score keeper Harold Lederman. But, the truth is all the rounds were close. Gamboa went into the fight hoping to score a dramatic win and continue with his domination of those whom his fans feel are pretenders in the top featherweight weight class. It didn't happen, and instead the fight elevated Ponce De Leon's status. It took a crunching accidental head butt in the eighth round to end his stubborn resilency.

The contest had moments of real excitement, those times when Gamboa would attack and try to get Ponce De Leon to trade with him. He wanted take advantage of his speed. But, after most of those brief exchanges, Gamboa would back away and be content with pot-shots and counters. His punches were definitely harder and cleaner than Ponce De Leon's, but it was puzzling why he allowed Ponce De Leon to "wind up" with his shots, when it seemed as though he should be doing a better job at timing his counters and really nailing him.

In fact, Ponce De Leon was telegraphing his punches so much that his motions resembled the center fielder in baseball, who comes forward with one or two big steps, hoping to gain the momentum he needs to power his throw home. He wasn't landing the eventual punch, but he kept getting away with the wind up?

Regardless, the fight continued to progress with Gamboa maintaining an edge with his straighter, sharper, harder punches. But, neither fighter was able to get across a really clean shot, either to the head or body. In the post-fight interview with Max Kellerman, Gamboa said he purposely let Ponce De Leon get past the fourth round, because he wanted to make a point! Apparently, Yuriorkis was upset with some of his critics, who predicted that if Ponce De Leon made it past the fourth round, he would then knockout Gamboa? So, to prove them wrong, Gamboa claims to have let Ponce De Leon hang around?

Max was a bit incredulous upon hearing that statement, and asked how that would impress anyone when everyone was looking for him to once again be impressive by quickly knocking out a common opponent with JuanMa Lopez? Failing to get an answer that made sense, he simply congratulated Gamboa and moved on by next asking Gamboa about his preferences for a possible future opponent. Gamboa said he wants Pacquiao. Good luck with that one! Max suggested maybe a rising star like Mike Garcia, and Gamboa seemed receptive to that as well. It's good bet that Ponce De Leon will be talking up a rematch.

As a lead in to the Gamboa vs. Ponce De Leon fight, HBO replayed the Vitali Klitschko vs. Tomaz Adamek slaughter. Once again it was man against boy. The size difference, and lack of speed, prevented Adamek from doing much of anything other than offering himself up for the kill. About all that he accomplished was to once again prove his toughness, as Vitali whittled him down over the course of the fight. Albeit for the ropes, Adamek would have been down several times. The referee mercifully stepped in to call a halt to things in the tenth round. By that time, Adamek was stumbling around with a bleeding nose and lumps all over his face. The only real drama in the fight came when Vitali missed a right hand in the ninth, which seemed to leave him off balance. At the same time, his knee seemed to give way, caused him to fall, Initially, there was some question as to whether Adamek had thrown and landed an inside counter punch, but replays showed that was not the case. Rather, Vitali just fell?

Preceding the fight card, HBO played the latest 24/7 episode. If possible, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. proved to be even more annoying than usual. Film of him, of course, included his usual "hangers-on", those who persistently (and annoyingly) tag-along, fawning over every utterance rising up from this snollygoster's putrid swamp of a thought process. The pretense of his skype call to military personnel stationed in harm's way was the most insulting. He obviously doesn't understand the maxim that explains, "Honor above wealth. Tradition above self." No, this ninny hammer thought he could bedazzle them with his cloy. But, all he accomplished was to cause disgust created by his excess.

Article posted on 11.09.2011

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