Decline of the Lightweight Division

On Saturday night Lightweight champion Terence Crawford delivered a breakout performance. The Omaha native showed speed, great technical ability and power, dropping Yuriorkis Gamboa four times en route to a ninth round stoppage win. The question now is, where does he go from here?

The answer is that he has to move up to Light Welterweight to get the big fights. Crawford’s victory has shone a light on the decline of the once great Lightweight division.

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Terence Crawford KO’s Yuriorkis Gamboa

Terence Crawford not only transitioned from orthodox to southpaw, he pulled off a much bigger metamorphosis going from eastern Nebraska to the top of the world. That came as no surprise to the ten thousand plus fans on hand at the Century Link Center, Omaha, Nebraska. They already knew something that the rest of the world was only beginning to see. That pearl of knowledge is Terence “Hunter/Bud” Crawford is one helleva fighter!

If you watch the History Channel, you know Omaha is not only a good sized city on the banks of the Missouri River, it is also the name of the famous beach where allied troops landed on D-Day in June of 1944. It was the beginning of the end for the Axis Powers. Crawford pulled off his own D-Day when he transitioned from orthodox to southpaw in the third round of his battle with the undefeated Cuban sensation named Yuriorkis Gamboa.

Read moreTerence Crawford KO’s Yuriorkis Gamboa

Terence Crawford takes a big step towards superstardom with sizzling stoppage win over Yuriorkis Gamboa

Crawford vs. Gamboa - WBO lightweight king Terence Crawford looked superb last night in handing former amateur superstar Yuriorkis Gamboa his first pro defeat. Too big, tall and rangy he may have been for former featherweight Gamboa, but nothing should be taken from Crawford’s win. Looking for all the world like a Thomas Hearns clone, Crawford displayed power, accuracy, speed and, most of the time - barring the occasion in the 9th-round when he was hurt before turning things back around in his favour - patience.

WBO lightweight king Terence Crawford looked superb last night in handing former amateur superstar Yuriorkis Gamboa his first pro defeat. Too big, tall and rangy he may have been for former featherweight Gamboa, but nothing should be taken from Crawford’s win. Looking for all the world like a Thomas Hearns clone, Crawford displayed power, accuracy, speed and, most of the time – barring the occasion in the 9th-round when he was hurt before turning things back around in his favour – patience.

Gamboa, at a major disadvantage in terms of reach, had to, as commentator Larry Merchant said, “try and make things happen,” and in doing so, by coming in and trying to land dome hurt on his taller opponent, the Cuban talent put himself at serious risk. Crawford of course took advantage of this and buzzed his challenger a number of times. Only Gamboa’s ridiculous heart and courage kept him in the fight, and Gamboa even stated post-fight that, after the second hurtful knockdown of the 9th and final round, he’d wanted to continue.

Read moreTerence Crawford takes a big step towards superstardom with sizzling stoppage win over Yuriorkis Gamboa

Crawford beats Gamboa

If you would have told me before the Terrance Crawford (24-0) and Yuriorkis Gamboa’s (23-1) Saturday night tilt (contested in Omaha…known the world over as the fight capital of Nebraska) that Crawford was going to win by a tenth round stoppage I would have said…okay, fine. Crawford is a talented, skilled boxer fighting in his hometown. He’s also significantly bigger than Gamboa, both in terms of height and natural weight class, and he’s looked far sharper in his recent bouts. So yeah, a tenth round stoppage seems about right. But if you would have told me that Crawford and Gamboa would also be sort of a spectacularly entertaining life or death slugfest, and probably the leading candidate for fight of the year, I would have said no that won’t happen: I don’t care if you’re clairvoyant or from the future or whatever your deal is, but you’re wrong. A blown-up featherweight coming off a slow paced tap-fest over a year ago against a defensively responsible counter-puncher could never be a fight of the year candidate and really, it’s idiotic to suggest otherwise. And yet Saturday night happened.

Read moreCrawford beats Gamboa

Crawford stops Gamboa; Korobov decisions Uzcategui

Crawford vs. Gamboa - WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford (24-0, 17 KO's) got off to a slow start in the first 4 rounds, but then came on to knock 32-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-1, 16 KO's) down 4 times en route to stopping him in the 9th round tonight in a fight televised by HBO from the CenturyLink Center, in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford (24-0, 17 KO’s) got off to a slow start in the first 4 rounds, but then came on to knock 32-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-1, 16 KO’s) down 4 times en route to stopping him in the 9th round tonight in a fight televised by HBO from the CenturyLink Center, in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

Crawford was hurt in the 9th round after getting a little too overanxious trying to score a stoppage. But Crawford came back to knock Gamboa down twice with big punches to get the stoppage. Gamboa got back up after the second knockdown but the referee Genaro Rodriguez chose to stop the fight at 2:53 of the round.

Read moreCrawford stops Gamboa; Korobov decisions Uzcategui

Is Gamboa’s fight against Crawford a last-gasp opportunity for him?

Crawford vs. Gamboa - Former IBF/WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-0, 16 KO’s) will be making one of his rare appearances this Saturday night in challenging WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford (23-0, 16 KO’s) on HBO at the CenturyLink Center, in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

Former IBF/WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-0, 16 KO’s) will be making one of his rare appearances this Saturday night in challenging WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford (23-0, 16 KO’s) on HBO at the CenturyLink Center, in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

Like an aging celebrity entertainer, Gamboa’s appearances in the ring have become infrequent despite the fact that he’s not tasted the big money that many fighters of his talent level have. Gamboa hasn’t fought since last year when he struggled to defeat Darleys Perez by a less than impressive 12 round unanimous decision in June of 2013.

Read moreIs Gamboa’s fight against Crawford a last-gasp opportunity for him?

Crawford vs. Gamboa: The Guantánamo cyclone headed straight down tornado alley

Omaha gets its first title fight in over 40 years this Saturday on HBO with a matchup of speed, wits, and power that may not create explosive action. It will however bring us clarity at the division raising the winners profile at lightweight and beyond.

Yuriorkis Gamboa lived up to his nickname “The Guantánamo Cyclone”, when he stormed on to the American boxing landscape via Espn2 Friday Night Fights. After a few highlight reel knockouts HBO came knocking and Gamboa kicked the door down with his blistering hand speed, mixed with heavy hands and vulnerability.

The fans began to call for a lower weight super fight of sorts with Puerto Rican Juanma Lopez, who at the time was making waves with his volume punching and a 1st round knockout over Ponce De Leon. If it wasn’t one punch power, it was rapid fire combinations breaking punch stat records and his opponents will in the process.

Read moreCrawford vs. Gamboa: The Guantánamo cyclone headed straight down tornado alley

Crawford out to reach greatness as he makes first world title defence against ‘Cocky’ Gamboa this weekend live on Boxnation

LONDON (June 26) – World champion Terence Crawford is hoping victory this Saturday night against “cocky” Yuriorkis Gamboa will kick start his path to greatness.

The WBO lightweight champion got his first taste of world title success when he overcame Scotland’s Ricky Burns earlier this year, with his first title defence taking place this weekend against the unbeaten Gamboa, live and exclusive on BoxNation.

Read moreCrawford out to reach greatness as he makes first world title defence against ‘Cocky’ Gamboa this weekend live on Boxnation

HBO Boxing After Dark travels to Omaha for a world title showdown Saturday Night

HBO’s hit late-night boxing franchise visits Omaha, Neb. for the first time to present an all-action doubleheader featuring a world title bout between undefeated rising stars when HBO BOXING AFTER DARK: TERENCE CRAWFORD VS. YURIORKIS GAMBOA AND MATT KOROBOV VS. JOSE UZCATEGUI is seen SATURDAY, JUNE 28 at 10:00 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from CenturyLink Center, exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team will be ringside for the event, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.

Read moreHBO Boxing After Dark travels to Omaha for a world title showdown Saturday Night

Crawford & Gamboa Interview Transcript

World Championship Boxing returns to Omaha for the first time in 42 years! Undefeated world champions TERENCE CRAWFORD, the Pride of Omaha, and Cuban sensation YURIORKIS GAMBOA, who boast identical 23-0 (16 KOs) professional ring records, will be battling for Crawford’s newly-won World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight title This Saturday! June 28, at the the CenturyLink Center in Omaha (455 North 10th St., Omaha, Neb. 68102). This will be the first world championship fight Omaha has hosted since Joe Frazier successfully defended his heavyweight title against Nebraska’s-own Ron Stander on May 25, 1972. It will also be a professional homecoming for Crawford, who has not fought in his home state since 2011. The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark®, in its first-ever visit to Omaha, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The telecast will open with undefeated Top-Five contenders MATT KOROBOV and JOSE UZCATEGUI battling in a 10-round rumble for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental middleweight title.

This exciting all-action doubleheader features four undefeated gladiators with a combined record of 91-0, 63 KOs.

Read moreCrawford & Gamboa Interview Transcript