What happens when Gamboa gets in with a guy who knows how to not only time one big punch, but follow it up? Unless his defense improves (which seems unlikely; he's 27 and already has some 300 amateur fights under his belt, so he is much closer to being a finished product than the average prospect), he's going to get knocked out. Gamboa should be able to win a belt this year in a weak 126-pound division, but despite his offensive arsenal, which is as good as any prospect's in the sport, I don't see him cracking the pound-for-pound top ten at any point in his career. I hope I'm wrong, because he's a lot of fun to watch, but I suspect not.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Rising Cuban boxing star (and Gancho's pick for best name in 2008) Yuriorkis Gamboa defeated Roger Gonzalez on the 2009 debut of Friday Night Fights, but serious questions about his future remain. He was knocked down in the second round, which is the fourth time he has hit the canvas in his 13 fights, an extremely high number. The knockdown was not, as the AP ridiculously put it, "more from being off balance than from any punch landed by Gonzalez," but was the product of a big right hand from Gonzalez cruising right by where Gamboa's left should have been, and landing square on his jaw. Gamboa's hands were, as they are far too often, down at his sides. (And unlike Roy Jones, who also tended to drop his hands, Gamboa stays in range of his opponent when doing so.) The Cuban shook it off well, and went on to flash the incredible punching skills that led me to compare him to Jones and Meldrick Taylor, but Gonzalez isn't exactly Jorge Linares or Edwin Valero.