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.
Gamboa was also knocked down in the 5th and 8th rounds by big shots from Crawford. In the 5th round, Crawford suddenly dropped Gamboa with a left hook to the head. Before the knockdown, Gamboa had problems slipping on the canvas because it was wet, and the large decal kept causing him to lose his footing.
To his credit, Gamboa came back in the 6th and 7th and fought reasonably well despite the fact that his legs appeared rubbery. He was standing flat-footed much of the time and just winging big shots. In the 8th, Crawford connected with two right hands to the head to put Gamboa down. He was definitely hurt on this knockdown. Crawford staggered Gamboa near the end of the round with a flurry of shots. Gamboa made it easy for Crawford by attacking him in an aggressive manner, as he appeared to be trying to make up for the knockdown he suffered in the 5th.
After hurting Crawford in the 9th, Gamboa appeared to be on the verge of scoring a knockout when all of a sudden he was put down hard. This time Gamboa was far too hurt to make it out of the round without some kind of miracle. Instead of clinching, Gamboa tried to fight back, and this led to him getting knocked down a second and final time in the round.
It’s hard to say how good Crawford would do against a real lightweight like Richard Abril or Miguel Vazquez. Those guys are a little more solid than Gamboa, and they’re not featherweights fighting two divisions above their weight class like Gamboa was. Some boxing fans think Crawford is star material, but he didn’t impress in that manner. He had a small guy in there with him, and it was a situation where Crawford, who looked like a junior middleweight, had too much size compared to Gamboa.
If Crawford does move up in weight to the light welterweight division like he’s talked about recently, Top Rank will probably try and match him against WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri to give him a good chance of winning a world title immediately. That’s not the big fight that Algieri is looking for though, as he wants to fight Manny Pacquiao or another big name. Having to fight Crawford would be a huge letdown for Algieri, because the money would be minimal compared to what he’d get against Pacquiao.
Other boxing results on tonight’s Omaha card.
Matt Korobov UD 10 Jose Uzcategui
Mikael Zewski TKO 4 Prince Doku Jr
Bernard Davis UD 4 Heath Cline
Casey Ramos UD 6 Guillermo Sanchez
Vic Pasillas UD 6 Jiovany Fuentes
Cody Crowley KO 2 Ronnie Peterson