Friday, October 9, 2009

Boxing's Back

One of Gancho's favorite fighters, Juan Manuel López, has a third consecutive scrap against a really tough guy (Roger Mtagwa) who will hit him a bit and make him work, but has little virtually no chance to beat him and very little name recognition (López will wear him down and stop him somewhere around round seven). These kinds of fights are not too risky in the sense that López could lose, but they are eating into López's physical prime without helping him turn into a star. I'm not saying that he should be fighting cupcakes (and we should note that just before this stretch, López had stopped three consecutive opponents in the first round), but three little-known hardasses in a row is enough; it's time to get López a big-time fight.

With an eye toward that goal, Cuban sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa is on the card as well, with the distinct possibility that he face off against López next year looming above the proceedings. Gamboa should take care of business (against Whyber García) via early knockout as well, at which point we can all begin to fantasize about a López-Gamboa bout.

Such a matchup would be one of the most intriguing I've ever seen. We don't really know who the harder puncher is, and we don't know whose chin will stand up better to the other's blitz. All we really know is that López is better technically, while Gamboa is faster and more creative offensively. I honestly can't remember another fight in which literally any possibility seems plausible. López knocks him out in the first round? That makes sense, Gamboa is chinny and López is a harder puncher than any he's ever been in with, and more of a killer. Gamboa stops López in the first? Right, should have seen that coming, Gamboa is heavier and faster, and fighting people like Peñalosa didn't prepare López to be hit by a guy like Gamboa. Late KO from López? Gamboa's never gone long rounds with a real champ. Late KO from Gamboa? It was inevitable that such a fast fighter would eventually get to López's chin, and it just took him ten rounds. Dominating decision from López? Better technical fighter and his body work slowed Gamboa down big time. Dominating decision from Gamboa? López has a great chin and did enough to survive, but he was outclassed athletically. There's nothing like uncertainty to add a little intrigue to a scrap. Let's hope it happens.

Gancho is 78-24 on the year.

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