Las Vegas, NV– Gaps of inactivity have hampered the ascension and career of former 126lb champion Yuriorkis Gamboa ( 23-0, 16 KOs). Now promoted by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, a superstar rapper and business entrepreneur, Gamboa faces his biggest test at 135lbs, WBO champion Terence Crawford (23-0, 16 KOs) on Saturday.

Yuri Gamboa

Yuri Gamboa

Both have identical records but took completely different paths to achieve success. Crawford is a native of Omaha, Nebraska, where the bout will take place live on HBO. The naturally bigger man has tested the waters at 140lbs in one of his biggest victories, a one-sided rout over tough journeyman Breidis Prescott (27-5, 20 KOs). He earned the title in his last effort, a decisive victory over Ricky Burns (23-3-1, 11 KOs), beating him in Burn’s home country of Scotland. Gamboa on the other hand has only had 2 fights in the two previous years .


Question marks remain as the Cuban amateur star was a monster at 126lbs. Ultra explosive, fast, dynamic and powerful are a few words to describe how he chose to go about his business. After stopping Jorge Solis (41-2-2 at the time) in 4 one sided rounds in 2011, Solis declared that Gamboa was the hardest puncher he had ever faced. That’s remarkable when you consider that he was stopped by Manny Pacquiao almost four years earlier when Manny was on his tear through the same division. If Gamboa can still crack at 135lbs, this bout becomes even more interesting.


The Omaha native has battled a remarkable 8 times since 2011. On Saturday in the HBO main event he fights in front of his home crowd. Gamboa is shorter, and has yet to score a stoppage win above 126lbs. While Gamboa has the better pedigree and faced better opposition, much of that was at the lower weights. Can Gamboa overwhelm Crawford with his speed when he gets inside? Will he be able to get inside on a slick crafty boxer such as Crawford? Looks like a toss-up fight that goes to the cards with Crawford getting his hands raised. All of the intangibles appear to lean in his favor.

-Kevin Perry

Mr Perry can be reached at






  • Crawford and Gamboa was a Very entertaining fight! !!!

  • Crawford looked very impressive. Gamboa reminded me of the way Lennox Lewis fought Oliver Mccall during there first fight…Kind of a facial expression and body language like he didn’t care. Good scrap here in Omaha though.

  • Crawford won. Great fight.

    As I said in my first comment, Gamboa is brilliant but erratic, with a so-so chin. He was beaten by a steady fighter.

    Lately I have had a good run with my predictions, against the grain, with Cotto and Crawford.

  • Good matchup….Some bodies OHHHH has got to GO!

    People are looking at Crawford’s win against Ricky Burns as his best win.what’s being overlooked is before that, burns got BEATDOWN BIG BY BELTRAN but won a shifty decision RIGHT before being bombed on by crawford….after that..burns looked toast…For me, Crawford win over the tough Prescott is his best win. Prescott pressed Alvarado to deep waters but got drowned himself in a rough fight. They matched him softly in confidence builder type fights to put him back in the winning column before being taken to school by crawford.

    Gamboa with all his accolades as an amateur and being compared to Roy Jones like athleticism has been avoided in the past by his featherweight peers ( lopez, Mikey garcia)…he struggled in his ppv under card showing against the rugged farenas and seemed to not be able to close the show…he has long spells of inactivity coupled with troubles outside the ring. ..his best bet is to attack midrange and close against the taller longer crawford. He needs to be able to land that bigshot and take crawford out of his comfort zone.

    My guess is Crawford is able to stay on the outside and win a close UD. Home crowd and ring rust will play a factor in this fight along with consistency which all benefits crawford….

  • Tough fight, but Gamboa holds all the cards! We know what Crawford brings but Gamboa is a wild card. He’s quicker, stronger, more athletic and his Olympic gold medal demonstrates that he isn’t quite as wild as many have labeled him as. Gamboa is clearly the more talented fighter, but Crawford is much more disciplined in his approach. Ring rust and a hometown decision should be Gamboa’s biggest concerns! From what I can tell, the average Ricky Burns is the only fighter of signifigance on Crawford’s resume, so how talented is he really???

  • Gamboa by KO…Whenever he wants it.

  • Gamboa is unpredictable and erratic. He is capable of bursts of brilliance, and he gets pedestrian the next minute, and his chin is suspect.

    I believe Crawford will win due to his regularity. He might have a scare or two, but he will drop Gamboa as well due to his flawed defense.

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