WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) took advantage of a passive looking Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-4, 18 KOs) to defeat him by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night behind closed doors at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Haney, 21, didn’t look impressive despite winning by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision. The scores were 118-109, 120-107, and 120-107.
Haney vs. Gamboa undercard results
Undefeated heavyweight contender Filip Hrgovic (12-0, 10 KOs) pounded the 38-year-old Rydell Booker (26-4, 13 KOs) at will with shots until the fight was halted in the fifth round.
The referee finally had seen enough in the fifth and stopped the mismatch. the time of the stoppage was at 0:43 of round five. Booker was dropped in the second by Hrgovic.
It would be a good idea at this point for Hrgovic’s management at Matchroom Boxing to step him up against world-class opposition. The 2016 Olympic Hrgovic is 28-years-old and he’s not getting much from the mismatches that he’s put in repeatedly.
Heavyweight contender Zhilei Zhang (22-0, 19 KOs) used his hulking size to defeat Devin Vargas (22-7, 9 KOs) by a fourth-round knockout. The big 6’6″ Zhang dropped Vargas in the 4th with a left to the head. The fight was then stopped at 0:49 of the fourth.
It wasn’t the type of performance that suggests that Zhang deserves a title shot against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion. Zhang’s promoter Eddie Hearn was banging the drum in talking about a fight between Joshua and Zhang in China at some point in the future.
But after tonight’s performance, it would be a horrible mismatch if that fight took place anywhere.
Arthur Biyarslanov vs. Juan Jose Martinez
Undefeated light welterweight prospect Arthur Biyarslanov (7-0, 6 KOs) smashed the hapless journeyman Juan Jose Martinez (28-10, 20 KOs) in stopping him in the first round. The fight was stopped at 0:59 of the first.
Reshat Mati vs. Marcos Mojica
In an impressive performance, undefeated welterweight prospect Reshat Mati (8-0, 6 KOs) defeated Marcos Mojica (17-6-2, 13 KOs) by a second-round knockout.
Mati dropped Mojica twice in the fight, putting him down in the first and second. The mismatch was over at 1:40 of round two.
Raymond Ford vs. Rafael Reyes
The talented featherweight prospect Raymond Ford (7-0, 3 KOs) defeated Rafael Reyes (18-11, 14 KOs) by a third-round knockout.
Reyes was put down twice in the fight, once in the first and another time in the third. The referee stepped in and halted the contest in the third with Reyes taking punishment. The time of the stoppage was at 1:26.
Haney vs. Gamboa preview
Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) is at the last chance saloon tonight in challenging WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) live on DAZN at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida.
If Gamboa wins, it would be an interesting result, aid it would shake up the boxing world. Haney is a blue-chip guy who was given his WBC lightweight title a year ago by the World Boxing Council after making Vasily Lomachenko the Franchise champion.
Haney, 21, has these things in his favor tonight against the 38-year-old Gamboa:
- Ring wear
- A-side status
Haney should win with all that, but that doesn’t mean that he would have beaten Gamboa in his prime. If you could put Haney on a time machine and deposit him in the ring with Gamboa ten years ago in 2010, he’d lose to the Cuban and perhaps by knockout. Haney is a good fighter, but not powerful and nowhere near as entertaining as Gamboa was at his best.
Haney’s promoters at Matchroom Boxing have selected the 38-year-old Gamboa or him to use as a showcase fight. Gamboa is a little past his prime, but he’s still faster and better pop on his shots than Haney. However, Haney’s size advantage will likely be too much for the smaller 5’5″ Gamboa to handle.
Like the main event between Gamboa and Haney, the undercard has fights tilted heavily towards the A-side fighter winning. It would be nice if there were at least one upset, but that’s probably much to hope for.
“I feel like I do have my respect as a champion because they’re not saying that they want to fight me,” Haney said to ESPN. “So, that’s all the respect that I need. The fighters are fearing me. They know how much talent I have, and they know what I’m capable of.”
The real reason that the other top lightweights aren’t pursuing Haney is that he doesn’t have a fan base yet. Haney is still an unknown in the eyes of casual boxing fans, and he’s not worth fighting right now.
It’s better for a talented lightweight like Gervonta Davis, Vasily Lomachenko, and Teofimo Lopez to let Haney build up his name slowly and then fight him for a lot of money rather than beating him right now for no money.
You can argue that Haney is in the same position Jaime Munguia is in. Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez are not chasing him because they likely know it’s better if they fight Munguia later after building a fan base than if they defeat him right now.
Haney has been matched carefully by his promoters in selecting weaker opposition with little chance of defeating him. Once he becomes popular with the casuals, you’ll see Teofimo, Tank Davis, and Lomachenko going after him to take his WBC title.
Haney vs. Gamboa undercard:
- Filip Hrgovic vs. Rydell Booker
- Zhilei Zhang vs. Devin Vargas
- Reshat Mati vs. Marcos Mojica
- Raymond Ford vs. Rafael Reyes
- Movladdin Biyarslanov vs. Juan Jose Martinez Alvarez
- Darren Cunningham vs. Juan Gabriel Medina