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GAMBOA: "Crawford Is Not A Walk in the Park"

BY Michael Woods ON May 06, 2014
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Yuriorkis Gamboa hadn't signed off on a fight with Terence Crawford early Tuesday afternoon, even though plans were in motion to do a press conference in the great state of Nebraska, Crawfords' homeland, on May 8.

"I haven't been notified of anything regarding a date with Crawford," Gamboa told me. "I haven't even begun training camp. All I have been told was a few weeks ago that there is a possible fight between me and Crawford. I am looking forward to fighting a guy like him. It's not an easy fight, but I have been getting ready for this all my life."

And he got that much more ready about an hour after that exchange, when at approximatley 1:30 PM ET he told me, "(My management) called me. The fight is a go. June 28th fight."

Gamboa, the 32-year-old Cuban defector who has spent more time than I think he'd like dealing with promotional issues, said he hadn't seen anything put on paper for a bout against the slick WBO lightweight champ, and didn't want to get ahead of himself, as he did when he thought a fight versus Mikey Garcia was a semi-certainty.

A sampling of social media tells me lots of folks are liking the 26-year-old Omaha resident, who took his belt off Brit Ricky Burns on March 1 (UD12), and holds the same 23-0 (16 Kos) mark as the Cuban, to have his hand raised at the CenturyLink center in Omaha. They think he's fresher, and rust won't be a factor for him, as it might be for Gamboa, who last fought in June 2013 (UD12 win over Darleys Perez, and has fought four times in 3 1/2 years).

What about it, Mr. Gamboa...will your timing be off, will you need to shed a thick film of rust, or will you be able to click into a high gear ASAP?

"Rust is always an issue," he admitted. "But I have been training and sparring. There is no easy route to be the best and I want to be the best. Rust is not going to be an excuse. I do not make excuses! Crawford is not a walk in the park. He is a difficult guy to fight, but I am confident that with proper training, I beat him."

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Radam G says:

Crawford will beat beat Gamboa if this dance is made. Gamboa can no longer hide in the shade. Holla!

oubobcat says:

In a less than scintillating fight, Crawford will be victorious over Gamboa.

deepwater2 says:

Crawford will beat Gamboa if this dance is made. Gamboa can no longer hide in the shade. Holla!


I do not think Gamboa can make the weight. He is not even in camp yet.

Radam G says:

I do not think Gamboa can make the weight. He is not even in camp yet.


Actually I believe that Gamboa is just talking to have his name out there. Dude is sneaky. He's walking around at about 160lbs and is trying to get a dance with Da Manny at 140lbs in Macau, so shout the grapevine of boksing devine. Holla!

Skibbz says:

Crawford will beat Gamboa if this dance is made. Gamboa can no longer hide in the shade. Holla!


You know it RG. Crawford will pop Gamboa from everywhere and will nullify Gamboa's explosiveness in a display of the sweet science.

The_King_AJ says:

Everyone I've spoken to also think Crawford will beat Gamboa. I think so too.

I really don't understand why Gamboa won't move down to 130lbs?

oubobcat says:

Everyone I've spoken to also think Crawford will beat Gamboa. I think so too.

I really don't understand why Gamboa won't move down to 130lbs?


I wonder how hard Gamboa is going to try to make 135. Think about it...Crawford is fighting in his hometown in an area that doesn't schedule boxing events. This will be a big deal in Nebraska and probably will draw sell out crowd along with tons of attention. Say Gamboa comes in 2 to 3 pounds over weight at the weigh in (or even more), do you really think that his people would believe for a second that Crawford's side would cancel the fight? Of course Crawford's people won't and Gamboa knows it. The weigh in may end up being more interesting than the fight itself which will be a tactical affair to say the least.

Radam G says:

Everyone I've spoken to also think Crawford will beat Gamboa. I think so too.

I really don't understand why Gamboa won't move down to 130lbs?


Because he's fat, lazy and is on American badly processed foods, alcohol and roids. Plus, he lost the Cuban-Team pride and discipline. Holla!

brownsugar says:

Bad move for Gamboa..who has become a poor example of self management

oubobcat says:

This is a terrible move on paper by Gamboa and his management. Styistically, Crawford is a nightmarish matchup for him. But he has been poorly managed for the last few years so this really should come as no surprise. For example, he made a monumental career mistake by not going forward with the Rios fight a few years ago. Rios suits Gamboa's style well and I think a motivated Gamboa would have taken Rios apart with ease. Rios comes forward as well all know and will lead allowing Gamboa plenty of counterpointing opportunities. Rios couldn't have matched his speed or power and would have been stopped within 9 rounds. A win there and you are looking at big fights and big paydays. Instead, Gamboa has taken on Michael Farenas and Darleys Perez. He has had a very poorly managed career to say the least.

deepwater2 says:

This is a terrible move on paper by Gamboa and his management. Styistically, Crawford is a nightmarish matchup for him. But he has been poorly managed for the last few years so this really should come as no surprise. For example, he made a monumental career mistake by not going forward with the Rios fight a few years ago. Rios suits Gamboa's style well and I think a motivated Gamboa would have taken Rios apart with ease. Rios comes forward as well all know and will lead allowing Gamboa plenty of counterpointing opportunities. Rios couldn't have matched his speed or power and would have been stopped within 9 rounds. A win there and you are looking at big fights and big paydays. Instead, Gamboa has taken on Michael Farenas and Darleys Perez. He has had a very poorly managed career to say the least.


Like I said before Gamboa probably won't even make the weight. Gamboa
Really needs a spark plug of a fight to get his name back in the mix. If he does a great job win or lose at least he is back on the big stage- HBO. If he gets outclassed put a fork in him.

Carmine Cas says:

Gamboa is going to get thrashed

El Dude says:

Yuriorkis Gamboa was right to say that Terence Crawford is no walk in the park knowing that Terence is from the ghetto. The warrior soul of Terence comes from the School of the Concrete Jungle. The political issues in Cuba have nothing to do with the mean streets of the USA. Lace them up and tell a different story. Come fight night we will se who's hard knocks rocks the loudest.
by El Dude.

brownsugar says:

Bamboozled, hoodwinked, mystyfied and led astray are the first things that come to mind when I think about Gamboa's once promising career. At one time Gamboa was poised to potentially become the fighter who all time greats like Pacman and Mayweather pass their proverbial batons to.

Now when I think about Gamboa i have an image of a blind man emerging from the woods. His long white beard encrusted with dried leaves and cockle burrs. Rediscovering civilization after a 50 year of exile.

No doubt Gamboa can still box.
You can't loose skills that took a lifetime to hone that easily.
But the razzle dazzle incorporated into his arsenal and the passion to impress has all but faded away as of his last lackluster outing.

I'm surprised he would pick a fight of this magnitude in the twinkling twilight of his of unsung career.

But I guess when you've burned as many bridges as Gamboa, you'll take what's given.
It would be a shame for Gamboa to remain stagnant after all the trouble it took to escape Cuba in an exodus which lead him halfway around the globe to finally resurface in the USA.

I hope he can return to form ... I don't think he'll win but its one step forward in his mission to return to the top level.

oubobcat says:

Bamboozled, hoodwinked, mystyfied and led astray are the first things that come to mind when I think about Gamboa's once promising career. At one time Gamboa was poised to potentially become the fighter who all time greats like Pacman and Mayweather pass their proverbial batons to.

Now when I think about Gamboa i have an image of a blind man emerging from the woods. His long white beard encrusted with dried leaves and cockle burrs. Rediscovering civilization after a 50 year of exile.

No doubt Gamboa can still box.
You can't loose skills that took a lifetime to hone that easily.
But the razzle dazzle incorporated into his arsenal and the passion to impress has all but faded away as of his last lackluster outing.

I'm surprised he would pick a fight of this magnitude in the twinkling twilight of his of unsung career.

But I guess when you've burned as many bridges as Gamboa, you'll take what's given.
It would be a shame for Gamboa to remain stagnant after all the trouble it took to escape Cuba in an exodus which lead him halfway around the globe to finally resurface in the USA.

I hope he can return to form ... I don't think he'll win but its one step forward in his mission to return to the top level.


When I first saw Gamboa fight on an ESPN card some years ago, his talent was absolutely eye popping. I mean he had it all, exceptionally fast hands, power and an amateur background to suggest he was well learned in the art of the sport. I thought he had superstar written all over him and he was in a short time be a PPV headliner.

I also noticed something troubling just a few fights later still on ESPN. And that is his entourage grew ten fold. Gamboa started to think he was a star well before he was a star. He believed his natural talent would get him by without any fine tuning and that money was just going to be tossed at him in the truck loads.

Fast forward some years now and his career is stuck in neutral. He listened to the wrong people and had the wrong attitude. Its his fault as much as it is poor management (which his career has also been mismanaged tremendously). This should be a lesson to young talented fighters out there that though you may have the skills you still need to work at your craft and make wise decisions in order to progress in your career.

Can Gamboa beat Crawford and get his career out off neutral? Certainly, the talent is still there. But it won't happen on talent alone and until he understand that his career will never take off the way many of us thought it would.

The Commish says:

At 32, Yuri Gamboa may still be in possession of the skills which once promised greatness for him. But was that promise of greatness to be at featherweight? Or jr. lightweight? On June 28, he will search for it at lightweight. I cannot see the fight being anything that will propel him to the level of greatness.

The weight, I believe, will be too much for him. So will the physical advantages of Terence Crawford.

This will be a good fight for Crawford.

It will be a bad one for Gamboa.

-Randy G.

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