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.

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

Crawford vs. Gamboa, Terence Crawford, Yuriorkis 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.

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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.

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Crawford stops Gamboa; Korobov decisions Uzcategui

Crawford vs. Gamboa, Terence Crawford, Yuriorkis 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.

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The “Polish Prince” Ryan Kielczewski goes to 20-0

- St. Charles, MO--  Ryan Kielczewski, 24, the pride of Quincy, Massachusetts went to 20-0 (4 KO's) with an eight round unanimous decision over Ramsey Luna.  Luna, 22, of Corpus Christi, Texas now stands at 12-2 (5 KO's).  The Ameristar Casino crowd never got enthused with the plodding and lackluster match.  The win puts Kielczewski into a great position for a super flyweight title bout. Kielczewski kept scoring with a methodical style.

St. Charles, MO– Ryan Kielczewski, 24, the pride of Quincy, Massachusetts went to 20-0 (4 KO’s) with an eight round unanimous decision over Ramsey Luna. Luna, 22, of Corpus Christi, Texas now stands at 12-2 (5 KO’s). The Ameristar Casino crowd never got enthused with the plodding and lackluster match. The win puts Kielczewski into a great position for a super flyweight title bout. Kielczewski kept scoring with a methodical style.

With the win, Kielczewski, who has been branded as Boston’s “Polish Prince” should be in-line for a title fight. The fight was the lead in to the main event on the Friday Night Fights telecast on ESPN.

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Juan Carlos Gomez to face unbeaten Goran Delic on Chagaev vs. Oquendo undercard on July 6th in Grozny

Most eyes will, of course, be on Ruslan Chagaev and Fres Oquendo on July 6th in Grozny when the two ring veterans meet for the vacant WBA world heayvweight championship. But there is another big name in the co-feature who wants to get back to old stardom: “The Black Panther” Juan Carlos Gomez faces unbeaten Goran Delic for the WBA International cruiserweight title.

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Q & A: WBF International Champion Paul Economides

World Boxing Federation (WBF) International Super Bantamweight Champion Paul ”Spartan” Economides was born in Wales in November 1986. He started boxing at eleven, and had his first bout at twelve years of age.

As an amateur he developed into one of his countries best, and eventually represented Wales in several international tournaments before deciding to turn professional at age 21 in 2008.

Along the way he has put together a record of fourteen victories against five defeats, capturing British Masters titles in two weight-classes before winning the WBF title this past April.

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