Peter Wells reports as Terence Crawford shines in homecoming. Crawford stops Gamboa in 9 furious rounds
It’s not often we see an American fighter selling out in his hometown, very rarely do they get great home support, but Terence Crawford is one of the rare fighters as he sold 11,000 tickets for his maiden world title defence against Yuriokis Gamboa.
Before Saturday night’s massacre, Crawford wasn’t that big a household name in America, but in Omaha, Nebraska the fans poured out in droves to see the first world title fight there since Joe Frazier stopped Ron Stander in 1972.
The night could not have gone any better for Terence as he packed out in his home city and scored a landmark win against fellow unbeaten Gamboa, add to that the fact that last night’s encounter is a contender for fight of the year. Not a bad way to keep those loyal fans coming back for more. A star talent who is exciting, a brilliant boxer and has some power to accommodate that skill.
Cuban hotshot Gamboa had taken quite a step up through the weight divisions – he looks more of a natural Featherweight/Super Featherweight – in recent years and his lack of size proved dividends as he was dropped 4 times in a 9th round knockout defeat.
In the opener Gamboa darted in and out, displaying his fast hands, landing to the body. Crawford caught Gamboa on the way in with a jab while the Cuban landed a right over the top. Crawford continued to paw with the jab as Gamboa feinted on the outside. A right hand chopped Gamboa just under his ear prior to the bell.
A right hand tagged Gamboa to start the 2nd, Crawford circling once again hanging the jab out waiting for Gamboa to make a move before sticking the jab in the face of Gamboa. Yuriokis continued to bounce in and out, jabbing to the body while Crawford then pecked away from a good distance. A right tagged Crawford before a left to the body was followed by a right upstairs by Gamboa. A right hand seemed to momentarily stumble Gambia who was more off balance than anything.
Gamboa came steaming out in the 3rd, but Crawford was able to slide out of the way of the attack. Gamboa made his way inside before Crawford wisely tied him up. A solid right hand landed by Crawford as Gamboa was bouncing backwards but it did not disrupt Gamboa’s rhythm as he continued his motion onto the inside. The action continued to heat up as Gamboa darted in somewhat recklessly, but he managed to get the better of the exchange. With swagger to his work Gamboa tagged Crawford with another couple of good rights to finish the round.
Fighting out of the southpaw stance to start the 4th, Crawford landed with two downward projected sharp jabs. Another lunge by Gamboa was well seen by Crawford as he swivelled away. Gamboa drove with another quick assault while Crawford returned fire in two wild exchanges.
Long right hands came in from Gamboa, a right to the body and another solid shot upstairs landed on Crawford. A left uppercut from Crawford was instantly answered by a right over the top. Then came the usual lapse in defence for Gamboa as he lunged in and was caught with a solid right hand, then he was bundled to the canvas, counted as a knockdown. Gamboa still in some trouble traded viciously with Crawford who was hurting Gamboa badly with big right hands. Gamboa’s own bombs were not getting through as the crowd went wild for their hometown hero.
Gamboa did as he has done all his career in the 6th diving at Crawford but his reckless aggression was easy enough for the fully fledged Lightweight to counter with more hurtful punches. A big right landed by Gamboa out of a quick clinch. The pace dropped noticeably, and not surprisingly, in the final half of the round as Crawford dominated behind the odd jab.
A steady pace to the 7th round as a solid jab tags Gamboa who was waiting on the outside, but still in Crawford’s range, too long. A right hand tagged Crawford while he took a double jab on the way in. Crawford himself ending the round with a swagger in his step as he stepped to the side before tagging Gamboa with a left.
Just as Gamboa came to life to end the round he was caught by a short left followed by a hard right and his glove touched down, resulting in the 2nd knockdown of the fight. The two exchanged furiously to end the 8th but it was Crawford again that caused the most damage.
Crawford was now the aggressor as he slammed Gamboa with a left hook, now looking at a potential stoppage. Suddenly it was Crawford backpedalling as he seemed to have been caught while switching stances. Gamboa sensing the opportunity remained on Crawford’s toes for the rest of the round. Another hard shot staggered Gamboa and then he was dropped again by an overhand left. Gamboa out on his feet continued to throw on instinct before he was wiped out by a beautiful uppercut to end the contest.
With the impressive result, Crawford moves to 24-0(17) with the decision of whether or not to move up to Light Welterweight coming up. Gamboa may need to step down in weight if he is to fulfil his potential as he drops to 23-1(16) after he went a bridge too far.
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