Yuriorkis Gamboa, in one way or another, will force you to kick yourself if you head to the john too many times during his bouts. He did it again Saturday night, in the eighth round, when he was sent to the mat by Orlando Salido. But as he typically does, Gamboa shook off the bad buzz, got back on track, and upped his record to 19-0 with two 12th round knockdowns of his own, leading to a UD victory in the main event of an HBO Boxing After Dark card from the Palms in Vegas.
The Cuban-born Gamboa (126 pounds; age 28 ) held onto the WBA featherweight crown, while Salido (126 pounds; 34-11-2-1ND; from Mexico; age 29) dropped the IBF featherweight title, which hed scored in May from Cristobal Cruz. The scores were 116-109, 114-109, 115-109.
Gamboa sent Salido, who turned pro at 15, to the mat twice in the 12th, though he had two points taken for hitting the loser while he was down. In general, Gamboa has shown that hes willing to tweak his game as he goes, as he doesnt take as many risks while trying to impress as a flashy combo guy. I said as many….
Early on, Salido showed Gamboa that he was the most solid foe the Cuban emigrant had faced. But Gamboas lateral movement was too much for Salido, who looked a half step behind. But he was always that half step away, always looking to bother Gamboa. That he did in the eighth, when Gamboa ate a right and hit the mat, off a delay. In round ten, Gamboa, coming off two Salido rounds, staggered the loser. A left hook, right hand had Salido almost on the mat. A clash of heads opened a mean gash on Salido in the 11th, but there was no way this warrior would not finish. Gamboa tried–a right on the side of the head had Salido down for a flash 40 seconds into the 12th. A clubbing right had him down again, but Gamboa screwed that up with a shot delivered when Salido was clearly down. Ref Joe Cortez took two points from the Cuban for the infraction. The round played out without further tomfoolery. Wed go to the cards.
Good night for HBO in that they found themselves a star. Brandon Rios (age 24; from Kansas, fighting out of Oxnard, CA; now 24-0-1) made quite the impression in taking out unbeaten Anthony Peterson, who did quite the opposite when he offered an Andrew Golota impression. Peterson, who went down for the first time as a amateur or pro in the fifth, threw about ten low blows, and was DQd for the fouls in the seventh round, after having two points taken for the same in the previous round.
Peterson (age 25; from DC; now 30-1) resorted to pure street tactics, even though he couldnt admit that to the world when he chatted with Max Kellerman after that he was deliberately aiming for Rios groin. The older brother of contender Lamont, who took his first loss last December, to Tim Bradley, drove trainer Barry Hunter crazy by fighting Rios fight. Instead of using his legs and his jab to keep the pitbull at bay, Peterson got lured into a Rios style brawl. Bad move. The victor throws more than 100 punches a round, has a Teflon chin and has power in both hands.
No reason why Rios shouldnt fight on HBO five times a year.
For Peterson, this one has to hurt. His lack of power, and lack of discipline in sticking to the gameplan, and what he does best, will have him laying in bed and tossing nights for the foreseeable future.
One note: Rios weighed 151 on fight night, up from 135 pounds, while Peterson was 139, up from 135. This weight discrepancy should not be allowed. Period. All sanctioning bodies and athletic commissions should see to it that this does not occur.
SPEEDBAG Pacman-Margarito 24/7 debuts Oct. 23.
—Please allow me the digression. I offer a real-deal shoutout to my wife Jessica, for two reasons. 1) She gave birth to a baby girl, my daughter Juliette, on Tuesday. Want to know about tough? Jess did the deed at home, with no epidural, no pain meds, nothin. Anyone wants to hear about the merits of homebirth, put up your email address. I am a full-on proponent. 2) She let me continue to cover the fightgame for TSS this week. She never even gave me so much as the evil eye when I did my keyboard tapping thing, and even let me sleep in late Saturday morning after I stayed up late writing up the cruddy ShoBox. Thanks, lady.