Terrence Crawford flew to Ricky Burns’ hometown of Glasgow, Scotland to take the WBO lightweight belt last March via unanimous decision. On June 28, it will be Yuriorkis Gamboa’s turn to travel to Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska and attempt to snatch the same belt from the waist of Crawford. Coincidentally, both protagonists are undefeated, but one June 28, somebody’s “O” has got to go.

Omaha’s Pride

While Crawford is Omaha’s pride, he has never fought in his hometown. The June 28 bout will only be the 2nd boxing world championship match in Omaha’s history. The first one took place in 1972, fifteen years before Crawford was born, and it pitted Joe Frazier against hometown pug Ron Stander. Frazier knocked out the hometown boy in the fifth round to retain his title.

On June 28, Crawford hopes to finally give the hometown fans something to cheer about as he tests Gamboa in an HBO televised bout to be held at the 18,300-seater CenturyLink Center.

Identical Records

Both fighters have an identical 23-0 record with 16 Knockouts. But that’s where the similarity ends. At 32 years of age, Gamboa is six years older than the champion, while Crawford is 8 cm taller than his Cuban challenger.

Crawford will be making the first defense of the title which he won via unanimous decision over Ricky Burns last March. Burns was able to box and compete with the young Crawford in the early stages of the match. But Crawford’s superior boxing skills let him pull away in the middle and last rounds. Crawford won by the scores of 117-111,116-112 and 116-112.

“El Ciclon de Guantanamo”

Gamboa is the former 2004 Olympic Gold medalist who also held the WBA and IBF Featherweight championships. Gamboa and a couple of teammates defected Cuba while training in Venezuela. They eventually found their way to Germany where they applied for a US visa. Gamboa won his first title in 2009 by annexing the WBA featherweight title.

In 2012, he signed with SMS, the promotional company of American rapper 50 cent.Gamboa’s resume is impressive. He’s beaten former world champions like Jorge Solis, Orlando Salido and Daniel Ponce De Leon.

Staying Undefeated

Gamboa is the typical technical Cuban boxer who puts on a clinical performance in every fight. But he has the unnecessary habit drop his hands and showboat at times. Gamboa’s chin has a tendency to betray him and he easily loses balance when he gets hit with a solid punch.

Gamboa cannot afford to be too confident against a very talented opponent like Crawford. He might not be able to get away with his needless antics against a prime opponent. Another major concern is Gamboa’s inactivity in the last two years. He’s fought only once last year and once in 2012.

On the other hand, Crawford admits that Gamboa is a high risk but high reward opponent. He believes that this is a big opportunity for him to finally get the worldwide recognition that his talents deserve. He also said hat he will not be distracted by the hometown crowd and says that he just need to stay focused and get the job done. Crawford is a superb boxer, and although Gamboa says that he has the better resume, he has not fought an opponent with the boxing talents of a Terrence Crawford.

A Chess Match

Stylistically, this bout will be a battle of speed and boxing skills. Both Crawford and Gamboa are ring technicians who possess good movement, superior speed and quick hands. Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti says the bout will be a chess match, but has the potential of fireworks because there is a hometown hero in Crawford and Gamboa has a questionable chin. Moretti added that these are two of the best lightweights in the world, and the winner will be the best in the division.

The last boxing world champion from the state of Nebraska was Perry “Kid” Graves in 1914. The state has waited for a hundred years to see a boxing world champion again. You can bet that Terrence Crawford is going to leave everything on that ring on June 28. And Yuriorkis Gamboa will be more than willing to be his dancing partner.

Related Articles
Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *