Crawford vs Gamboa - Terence Crawford celebrates victory against Yuriorkis GamboaOn June 28th, 2014, Terence Crawford earned his place among today’s best boxers when he took on a very game Yuriorkis Gamboa at the CenturyLink Center, Nebraska. Despite some sticky moments, the Omaha-born fighter adapted and dropped his Cuban foe four times en route to a 9th round stoppage. The scorecards read 78-72, 78-72, and 77-73 at the time.

The bout was considered a true test for Crawford, who put his WBO Lightweight title on the line against former WBA and IBF Junior Lightweight titlist, Gamboa. At the first bell, it was clear Crawford was the physically bigger man.

Crawford vs Gamboa: The Fight

But that didn’t seem to bother Gamboa in the slightest – at least for the first four rounds which Gamboa banked.

Crawford seemed to be working out his opponent during this early act. He had respect for Gamboa’s speed and power – and who can blame him? It may have cost Crawford on the scorecards, but things were about to change in the 5th round. Crawford turned up the aggression, staggering Gomboa with a chopping right-hand counter. The lightning shot – which required video replay technology to catch it – was followed by two left hooks that sent Gamboa to the canvas.

Gamboa survived the knockdown, showing his experience by dancing around the ring and jabbing to the bell. Gamboa sensed greater urgency in the rounds that followed, letting his hands fly at the champion. Though sound punches, he would spend a little too long in the pocket – certainly enough to be tagged and wobbled on more than one occasion.

In the 8th, Gamboa was caught during another one of his flurries, falling south from a Crawford right-hand. It was clear the end was near for the Cuban, but his desire to fight on was both admirable and deeply engaging.

In the 9th, a wilting yet still game Gamboa was dropped from two big left hooks. Shortly after, a swinging Gamboa hit the canvas for the final time following a crunching Crawford right to the jaw. Despite the clock reading 2:53, the referee made the right decision by immediately waving off the bout. Needless to say, Crawford’s partisan crowd were elated with the win, and had been roaring for their hometown hero from the onset. (Crawford vs Gamboa Highlights)

The emphatic win will now add star power to Crawford’s appeal, and it’s easy to see why. The Omaha native’s spotless record now improves to 24 wins, 17 knockouts, while Gamboa’s reduces to 23 wins, 16 knockouts, 1 loss.

Crawford vs Gamboa: Questions Answered

Any questions over Crawford’s legitimacy as a top fighter have now been answered. Going forward, his refined boxing skills are going to be hard to crack, and are likely to befuddle a number of future opponents. Added with the fact he can bang, and is comfortable switching between orthodox and southpaw, might just indicate he’s something a little special.

His detractors may say that Gamboa had no place at 130 pounds, standing at just 5′ 5½” to Crawford’s 5′ 8″. So does that mean Crawford’s title defense should be less revered in any way? No, it shouldn’t; though you could perhaps argue Crawford’s longer reach paid dividends during the exchanges that scored his counter-shot knockdowns. In that respect, he had a greater advantage – then again, no one forced Gamboa to trade in bunches.

Gamboa is not a big Lightweight, by any means, but he provided a true challenge, even buzzing the champion in the 9th round with two chopping hooks to the jaw. Crawford surely deserves respect here, as does the brave Gamboa. And that’s the bottom line.

Let us know your thoughts and opinions on Crawford vs Gamboa below in the comments. And what of a rumored future Crawford vs Beltran (Raymundo)?

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