Technical Scrap Expected, Brawl Breaks Out, Crawford Gets W Over Gamboa

BY Michael Woods ON June 28, 2014
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Terence Crawford wanted to impress the hometown rooters in his native Omaha, taking on former future star Yuriorkis Gamboa, the Cuban pugilist-specialist who has been inactive for a bunch of reasons. They clashed Saturday night, on HBO’s Boxing After Dark.

Gamboa came out speedy and sharp, but Crawford went lefty, and his skills started being showcased. Knockdowns in the fifth, eighth, and then two in the ninth closed ther show for the hometowner, who showed a cool nastiness in tight on the undersized loser. The end came at 2:53, on the second knockdown, and the crowd in "Crawfordville," as Jim Lampley called it, praised the victor to the roof of the joint.

Bud went 146-348 to 82-345. Gamboa started strong but faded a bit, and Crawford started timing the ex star of the future, who now will be on the list in coming years when analysts talk about athletes who didn't reach their pro potential, possibly, if he doesn't right his course.

The winner said he had to figure out Gamboa, get his timing down, and then he got to work. To Max Kellerman, he said he caught the Cuban coming in, and that he knew he could do better with the jab from the lefty stance. Gamboa did catch him late, as he was careless, Crawford said, but he came back strong. He said he was happy to do it at home. Next? That's up to co-manager Cameron Dunkin and Brian MacIntire. The kid comes off as beyond humble and decent, I must say.

Max then talked to Gamboa. The loser said there were two warriors in the ring, and he didn't win. Gamboa was asked how he came roaring back after getting hurt a few times. He said as time went on, Bud got better, after Yuri had some luck. Is he the best Gamboa has fought? No, and he could have continued, he stated. But he respects the call by the ref, for a TKO.

Crawford ( 26; 134 ¾-152 fight night) held the WBO lightweight crown, while Gamboa (32; 134 ½-145 fight night) said that he’d be regaining his lost buzz by snagging that title. They both came in at 23-0 with 16 KOs.

In the first, 10,943 fans screamed for their “Bud.” Gamboa, off for a year, shot a sharp right which sent Bud back two steps. Bud landed some counters, maybe relaxing some late. Rights to the body by Gamboa stood out for me.

In the second, Yuri looked smaller, yes, but oh so cool. He hurled the right to the body, then backed up, re-assessed, jabbed to the body, moved laterally, kept Bud from settling in. Gamboa’s combo late, a three punch special, impressed. Team Bud asked for overhand rights, and tipped him off that Yuri bounces before he strikes.

In the third, Yuri was in flurry mode. Bud went lefty, and ate a nasty right. He stayed lefty, and scored some counters at the close. Roy Jones opined that the lefty stance was a bad idea, then changed his tune, and said Bud did it as well as Marvin Hagler, maybe.

In the fourth, Gamboa knew to work the right against the lefty stance. The Cuban danced, but ate a couple lefts. His jab started clicking some and we saw swelling on Yuri’s left eye.

In the fifth, the distance closed. Rights by Gamboa buzzed the crowd. A counter then put Gamboa down, off a right hand, after a right hook. Two power rights and a left hook almost did the same.

In the sixth, Bud ate on the ropes after Yuri rushed him, guns blazing. Crawford was now so accurate and confident. In the seventh, the same, with Bud peering at Yuri, looking predatory. Both hands worked for Bud.

In the eighth, counters put Gamboa down, as Bud was working righty. Gamboa was out of it nearly at the end of the round, from a trade. Right hooks were hurting the Cuban in a big way.

In the ninth, Bud got hurt, as Yuri kept flurrying, undersized but plucky. A left hook sent Yuri down, with 36 seconds left. A right upper sent him down, and that was it for the Cuban.

Omaha, on this night, was as jazzed as could be, content in the knowledge that "they" did it. One man with two fists and ambition can sometimes do that to a whole city, ain't boxing grand? At times, anyway...

This fight was a coin flip going in, and once again proves the point that when suits make pick em fights, quite often, good things happen. Drama ensues, fans are entertained, it is a formula begging for rinse and repeat.

--- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank

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Comment on this article

Radam G says:

It was a thrilla, a chilla, a knockdown spilla, a fight of the year candidate killa!

T-Craw was no man of straw. His was the quicker on the draw. And shot down Gamboa, as if the Cuban was an outlaw. The Omahan had the Cuban going up and down like a seesaw. Holla!

the Roast says:

Sensational slugfest! I was wrong about Crawford, he got it done tonight. He was the bigger fighter and he was able to hurt Gamboa enough to put him down four times. Gamboa was winning early with superior speed but Crawford was able to pull even with his advantage in size and power.
Gamboa should move down to 130 if he can.
His chin let him down tonight. Whenever he got hit with a clean shot his legs went out from under him. I give credit to Crawford for facing a very risky foe and credit to Gamboa for risking his O against a very skilled fighter in his hometown. I look forward to seeing both fighters again in a rematch or other opponents.

DaveB says:

Crawford fought more like Ray Robinson than Ray Robinson fought like Ray Robinson. Gamboa tested his mettle and boy did he find it in a way he didn't want to. Crawford is the guy at 135. He responded like a champ. Great fight against the hard hitting Gamboa. I will give Gamboa extra credit because of his guts and the slippery canvas but Crawford was just sensational. We have been given some evenly matched fights on paper at least these last few weeks. Quite refreshing.

teaser says:

kudos to Gamboa for his guts …he went out swinging !!…but he has to learn to box!!..and for Crawford for keeping his cool and composure during the fire fight .Gamboa had total distain for Crawford's power and just went at him..can't do that in this weight class….thanks again for the excitement !

The Commish says:

Yuri Gamboa certainly made it interesting for the first four rounds. In that time, he showed the capacity raucous crowd that he had come to take their man's title.

Then came round five. Terence Crawford woke up.

He reached down and pulled out a victory worthy of the champion he is.

Last night, on HBO, another boxing star was born.

-Randy G.

michaelabii says:

Sensational slugfest! I was wrong about Crawford, he got it done tonight. He was the bigger fighter and he was able to hurt Gamboa enough to put him down four times. Gamboa was winning early with superior speed but Crawford was able to pull even with his advantage in size and power.
Gamboa should move down to 130 if he can.
His chin let him down tonight. Whenever he got hit with a clean shot his legs went out from under him. I give credit to Crawford for facing a very risky foe and credit to Gamboa for risking his O against a very skilled fighter in his hometown. I look forward to seeing both fighters again in a rematch or other opponents.


True but a rematch would most likely turn out the same however. Gamboa has a great heart but wilted under pressure. His gameplan went out of the window once he got hurt. He could have boxed Crawford more by darting in and out but foolishly chose to brawl against a bigger opponent.

michaelabii says:

Great fight ! I am not quite ready to declare Crawford a "great" fighter however. He showed calmness and poise in the first few rounds which is good for a young developing fighter but I saw him give a lot of openings to a rather wild and unfocused albeit gutty Gamboa. In fact Gamboa may have stopped him if he had the legs to follow up when he hurt Crawford. Crawford has an excellent Jab however and if he uses it like a power jab which he occasionally does he would make his fights much easier. Gamboa lacks the discipline of a truly great fighter - though he is blessed with great athletic skills he needs to develop a focused and disciplined style that works for a great athlete with a weak chin.

Radam G says:

The Cuban has a problem with his balance, not the weakness of his chin. Holla!

the Roast says:

I was surprised at how available Gamboa's chin was for a fighter with his experience. Straight up in the air. Gamboa was reckless as hell and he got wrecked for it. I forgot how short his arms are. 135 is going to be tough on him.

Radam G says:

I was surprised at how available Gamboa's chin was for a fighter with his experience. Straight up in the air. Gamboa was reckless as hell and he got wrecked for it. I forgot how short his arms are. 135 is going to be tough on him.


He will be fine. T-Craw just whupped his rusty behind. Styles make fights. Holla!

King Beef says:

That was a helluva fight!!
Gamboa kinda reminds me of Khan, the way he got pulled into a brawl when his speed and movement was working well for him in the first 3 or 4 rounds, he definitely has big heart!

TotoyBato says:

Timing beat Speed. Crawford figured out the short speedster Gamboa. It would be interesting to see him figure out tall and slick Vasquez.

ultimoshogun says:

I agree with the Roast that Gamboa should avoid the 135 division. Great fight! Crawford is now on my must see list!

amayseng says:

What a fantastic fight.

Gamboa did get a little careless leaving that right hand to drag back to his waist and not back to protect the chin, obviously...but man did he show heart.

Crawford made the appropriate adjustments and timed the faster Gamboa.

I could watch these two fight weekly.

These two really stepped up their game, what a high level of skill and tenacity.

oubobcat says:

Sensational slugfest! I was wrong about Crawford, he got it done tonight. He was the bigger fighter and he was able to hurt Gamboa enough to put him down four times. Gamboa was winning early with superior speed but Crawford was able to pull even with his advantage in size and power.
Gamboa should move down to 130 if he can.
His chin let him down tonight. Whenever he got hit with a clean shot his legs went out from under him. I give credit to Crawford for facing a very risky foe and credit to Gamboa for risking his O against a very skilled fighter in his hometown. I look forward to seeing both fighters again in a rematch or other opponents.


This was an absolute thrill to watch as a fan. Right now, it is probably the leading candidate for fight of the year.

The size difference played a big factor here. Gamboa should go down at least to 130. He is going to have a hard time taking punches from legitimate Lightweights. Remember, he was dropped many times at Featherweight.

Gamboa was used to fighters be mesmerized by his speed and taking them out of their game plan. Early on, it appeared that may happen to Crawford. But Crawford adjusted to the speed and made an adjustment himself going to the southpaw stance. Never before had Gamboa faced someone as a pro who made a mid fight adjustment...before opponents got cautious fearing Gamboa's speed and counter attack if they opened it. When Crawford started fighting back, Gamboa did not know how to respond.

A rematch is possible down the line but not right away. If Crawford stays at 135, I think Ray Beltran, Hank Lundy or Juan Diaz may get a shot at him (Petr Petrov as well may be in the mix. It will be a step down from Gamboa. If Crawford goes to 140, I look for Jessie Vargas as the opponent if Vargas comes out successful in his title defense in August.

brownsugar says:

Agreed... Gamboa walks around at about 150lbs. Crawford walks around at about 157.

Too much muscle and bone mass for Gamboa to walk through.
Gamboa doesn't have the best punch resistance.
But he's ornery and stubborn and recuperates well.

I don't know if Gamboa can overhaul his tendency to toss common sense out the window and regress into Caveman mode.
Maybe its a carry over from the days he used to dominate everybody on his athletic ability alone.
But I'm a firm believer that he can succeed at 135 if learns how to control himself.

He would have to become a deciple of boxing like Terence.

I am personally not in favor of a rematch.
Nothing will change except Crawford will get him to trade earlier and end the fight a few rounds sooner.

What I saw from Gamboa wasn't heart(Gamboa always had that) what lost him the fight is his tendacy to start a fight in the midst of a boxing match.

May work at the bar... But not in the ring.

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