It was pretty much a unanimous decision in our Fabulous Forum at TSS, with poster digging the Terence Crawford win over an under-sized YuriorkisGamboa on Saturday night, in Omaha, and on HBO.
Poetic pugilist-specialist Radam, in his inimitable—is it patented?—style, made clear that he won’t forget Crawford’s TKO takedown on the Cuban at the end of 2014, when we assess the year in fighting, in order to choose some viable award candidates. “It was a thrilla, a chilla, a knockdown spilla, a fight of the year candidate killa!” Radam said in response to Editor Mike’s fight report.
The Roast also gave two hearty thumbs up, and, as happens to often in our Forum, proved himself a dignified and humble soul, when he wrote, “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.”
Cleanly and smartly stated.
The HBO crew pretty much agreed a star in Crawford was born that night, and it seems like Dave B is on board with that take. Me, I want to give proper credit but also wonder if a right-sized foe, someone perhaps not better suited for 130, not 135, would have proved a tougher out than the Cuban…
“Crawford fought more like Ray Robinson than Ray Robinson fought like Ray Robinson,” Dave B wrote. “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.”
New columnist The Commish might tell me to not bother waiting, that Crawford is a full-on real deal. He wrote, “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.”
MichaelAlbii isn’t on the star train crew. “I am not quite ready to declare Crawford a "great" fighter however,” he wrote. “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.”
Nothing to dissect or challenge there on my end…
But Radam took issue…
“The Cuban has a problem with his balance, not the weakness of his chin. Holla!” He cited rust as an issue for Gamboa. “He will be fine. T-Craw just whupped his rusty behind. Styles make fights.”
Toto Bato had an idea for next for TC. “Timing beat speed,” he wrote. “Crawford figured out the short speedster Gamboa. It would be interesting to see him figure out tall and slick (Miguel) Vazquez (the 34-3 Mexican who owns the IBF lightweight crown).
Oubobcat had some smart suggestions for Crawfords’ next.
“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.”
Ultimo Shogun came down on the side of, I dare say, the majority, when he wrote, “Gamboa should avoid the 135 division.” His thumbs were both pointing up after the pier-sixer. “Great fight! Crawford is now on my must see list!”
Amayseng wouldn’t have a problem if the matchmakers didn’t try to be clever, if they just let Crawford and Gamboa do a series of battles. “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,” he wrote. “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.”
Seems like most figure Gamboa’s chin is an easy target for Crawford, and the Cuban might be better suited to try other targets. But Amay and Ou both mentioned rematch. I didn’t hear Gamboa banging the drums for one, so methinks he knows the writing on the wall is there telling him a brutal truth…
I’m letting Brown Sugar, the esteemed sensei, have the last word on the fight and the subject. “Gamboa walks around at about 150 pounds. 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 it’s 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 disciple 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) but what lost him the fight is his tendency to start a fight in the midst of a boxing match. May work at the bar... But not in the ring.”
The Forum All-Stars, people. Pros in amateur gear…
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV