Yuriorkis Gamboa beat Michael Farenas in the main undercard scrap to Pacquiao-Marquez IV, but this was no easy walk in the park for the comebacking Cuban, who jumped from Top Rank to Floyd Mayweather to 50 Cent, after backing out of a scrap with Brandon Rios. After twelve rounds, Gamboa, back after 14 months away, heard scores to his liking, of 117-109, 118-108, 117-108.
He weighed 148 on fightnight for a 130 pound fight at the MGM in Vegas, so it will be interesting to see at what weight class he campaigns in moving forward. His promoter 50 Cent came down from the ceiling rapping into the ring, which was fab. Inactive for 15 months, Gamboa looked rusty. He sent Farenas down with 12 seconds to go in round two, off a right he didn't see. In the third, the Filipino landed a few clean blows but he looked outclassed. But with his eyes cut, he keep on chugging, and with that iffy chin on Gamboa, he kept on bombing. The Cuban looked more comfortable as the rounds progressed; Harold Lederman had it 5-1 after six. Yuri scored a knockdown, his second, early in the seventh. Farenas sent Gamboa down, off a left counter, in round nine, while Yuri was peppering him. He held on and stayed cautious the rest of the way. Yuri finally raised his right to cover his chin in round ten. His eye was cut in the 11th, for good measure.
Mercito Gesta took on Miguel Vazquez in a lightweight scrap. The lefty body snatcher Gesta was down in the first, but was tripped. Vazquez is trained by Javier Capetillo, who trained Antonio Margarito and was suspended in the US from working corners after hardened wraps were confiscated before Margarito fought Shane Mosley in 2009. Vaz is a mover, who waltzes left and right and really rarely stops. He's gangly, looks awkward, like he's about to trip, and I have never taken to his style, to be blunt. Gesta's corner told him round after round to get busy, get nasty. He wasn't able to switch gears or tactics on the slick runner, though. I switched over to the NBC "Fight Night" Eric Hunter-Jerry Belmontes fight after the ninth. Give me points for being that patient. Vazquez won, by scores of 117-111, 119-109, 118-110. I hope to not see him on my TV again, to be frank. All due respect, but he's boring to watch, runs excessively, and have no clue why a promoter or matchmaker uses him, unless forced to do so.
Javier Fortuna beat Patrick Hyland in a featherweight tangle to kick off the TV portion of the show. There were no knockdowns, as the Dominican was busier, but semi boring. Hyland, a Dubliner living in upstate NY, came on late but might kick himself for not really going balls out in the second half. The Dominican Fortuna is just 23, but left no one wanting to see him again, to be harsh.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV