Crawford KOs Gamboa

By Robert Ecksel on June 28, 2014
Crawford KOs Gamboa
Terence Crawford showed the world that he’s no flash in the pan. (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

Omaha’s Terence Crawford successfully defended his WBO lightweight title by stopping Yuriorkis Gamboa at 2:37 of round nine…

Saturday night at the Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska, Terence Crawford, 24-0 (17 KOs), aka the Pride of Omaha, successfully defended his WBO lightweight title by stopping former featherweight and super featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-1,16 KOs), aka El Ciclon de Guantánamo, at 2:37 of round nine.

Nebraska’s first titleholder since Perry “Kid” Graves won the vacant welterweight crown by KO’ing Johnny ‘Kid’ Alberts in 1914, Crawford, fighting out of the red corner in black trunks, proved to the world that he’s no flash in the pan.

Gamboa, fighting out of the blue corner in red, white and blue trunks, was a daring choice as Crawford’s first defense of the title he won from Ricky Burns in March. However enigmatic, Gamboa is proud, athletic and strong, attributes he put to good use in the first third of the fight.

Gamboa was first out of the gate. He landed a 1-2 followed by a left hook that caught Crawford looking. The Cuban kept firing away, controlling the action, controlling the distance, and repeatedly beat the champ to the punch. Crawford began to find the range toward the end of the first, but it was a big round for the challenger.

Gamboa dominated round two. He ate the occasional Crawford jab, but continued to get off first, throwing combinations, while the Pride of Omaha was landing single shots, including a solid right at the bell. According to CompuBox, after two rounds Gamboa had landed 15 of 50 punches to Crawford’s 12 of 55.

The third round went to Gamboa. It was beginning to look as if Crawford had bitten off more than he could chew. The challenger landed a left hook to start things off. He followed with a right that connected. Crawford wasn’t letting his hands go. Another right from Gamboa stunned the champ. Another right by Gamboa landed. Gamboa was timing Crawford. It seemed he had his number. Gamboa landed 12 punches to Crawford’s 7.

The tide began turning in round four. Using fancy footwork to dart in and out of range, Gamboa continued to rack up points. But a fight had broken out and Crawford managed to get in his licks. We gave the round to Crawford. HBO had it for Gamboa. After four rounds, the challenger had landed 36 of 94 punches to the champion’s 20 of 54.

The champion took over the fight in round five. Gamboa, his confidence soaring, landed a right that got Crawford’s attention. He continued to fire away when Crawford landed a bomb that dropped Gamboa at the one-minute mark. He was hurt but got to his feet and continued to fight. Crawford tried and failed to finish him. It was a big 10-8 round for the champion.

Between rounds Gamboa’s corner pleaded, “You’ve got to keep your hands up. You’ve got to keep your guard up.” Gamboa wasn’t in dreamland, not yet, but he was on his way.

Using patience, poise, skill, and his advantage in height and reach, Crawford pulled ahead and pocketed rounds six and seven. Jabbing, hooking, landing shots upstairs and down, whenever Gamboa got hit he appeared hurt. It was an incredible comeback. There wasn’t an ounce of quit in the challenger, but he was fighting a man possessed, a man in control of his destiny.

Both men went at it in the eighth. Crawford got the better of it as Gamboa, who seemed to shrink in size, kept firing away, oblivious of such niceties as defense. He got caught and dropped a second time. He got to his feet and was met by a left to the body. He almost went down a third time at the bell. Gamboa the fighting man was fighting. Crawford the thinking man’s fighter was thinking and fighting.

Gamboa landed just 7 of 59 punches. Crawford landed a whopping 30 of 50 punches thrown in round eight.

Going into the ninth, it looked like the fight was a done deal. But Gamboa landed a combination followed by a right that buzzed Crawford, whereupon all broke loose. Crawford connected with a left cross that deposited Gamboa on the canvas a third time. Again he beat the count, and again he was dropped, this time by a right uppercut. The referee didn’t administer a count. There was no need. It was over. Terence Crawford, the Pride of Omaha, retained his lightweight title, and he did it in style.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Crawford vs. Gamboa Highlights: HBO Boxing After Dark

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. Joe 05:54am, 06/30/2014

    Great fight.  As a Gamboa fan I hated to see my guy get KO’d but it only showed me that the other cat is very very good and should put on some great shows moving forward.  Gamboa needs to figure out a way to lose at least five pounds and take a year off before making his way back.  Viciously beaten up by a bigger dude.  Best of the year thus far.

  2. Johnny 09:21pm, 06/29/2014

    This was the most entertains fight I’ve seen in a long time!  Both gladiators were brilliant in their attacks.  This action packed fight had me on the edge of my seat! Neither fighter was backing down and both kept moving forward throwing bombs from every angle.  Truly one of the best fights of the year!  Thank you match maker!

  3. Tex Hassler 05:56pm, 06/29/2014

    I will be honest I did not expect Crawford to win. Win he did and it was a big win for Crawford.

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:38am, 06/29/2014

    Robert Ecksel-“Gamboa, who seemed to shrink in size, kept firing away, oblivious to the niceties of defense” of the best lines written on this or any other boxing site that really captures what was going on that juncture of the fight….which reminds me…. Ricky Burns just got another haircut….so let’s not get the nag before the buckboard….like a writer on another site writing about Crawford’s journey to super stardom.

  5. Pete The Sneak 07:16am, 06/29/2014

    Nice win for TC and Omaha…Gamboa looked good early on, but you can see Crawford was pretty much walking through most of Cyclone’s hard shots, despite the fact that Gamboa did touch him pretty good a couple of times…certainly enjoyed the fight…Now, perhaps when Peyton Manning decides to audible, he can yell out ‘CRAWFORD’ ...We’ll know what he means…Peace.

  6. Eric 06:55am, 06/29/2014

    Give it a try, it isn’t as bad as it sounds. I once saw a guy put ketchup on spinach. That didn’t happen in Omaha, anyhow, I had to give it a try. Wasn’t as bad as it looked, but I wouldn’t make it a habit.

  7. Clarence George 06:37am, 06/29/2014

    The older (and poorer) I get, Eric, the more appeal small-town America has for me.  That said, I shudder at the thought of mixing beer with tomato juice.

  8. Eric 06:33am, 06/29/2014

    Clarence…Omaha has a pretty decent zoo. It taint the San Diego zoo, but it taint bad for a city the size of Omaha. Hell, Omaha is mentioned in Grand Funk’s classic tune, “American Band,” as well as Bob Seger’s, “Turn The Page.” And don’t forget Charlie Daniels, “Uneasy Rider.” First place I ever saw people mixing beer with tomato juice. Don’t know if it was some ode to the Cornhuskers, but the local beverage was called “red beer.” Wasn’t bad. Those folks out there love their Cornhuskers, never seen anything like it,  not even in SEC territory.

  9. Eric 05:49am, 06/29/2014

    Good to see this guy giving Omaha some recognition. Lived in Omaha for about a year or so in the late 1980’s. Nice, geniune people out there, not pretentious or two-face at all. Real hospitality, not phony like so-called “southern hospitality.” Before now, it was the Huskers, the college baseball world series, and so-so heavyweights of the past, Dick Ryan, and the Council Bluffs Butcher, Ron Stander. Omaha and surrounding areas can also lay claim to being the birthplace for Gerald Ford, Marlon Brando, Nick Nolte, Johnny Carson, etc. Of course there is that Peyton Manning thingy too. Bring back the KC/Omaha Kings, teehee.

  10. Mohummad Humza Elahi 03:42am, 06/29/2014

    Great win for Crawford;  I think him fighting Mikey would be a bout, Garcia does have a habit of getting put down though.

  11. Clarence George 03:05am, 06/29/2014

    I expected Crawford to win, though it could have been by anything from a close decision to the full-blown KO it turned out to be.  Several factors at play, but what I thought would be key is Gamboa being pretty much finished.  “Enigmatic” is exactly right, because it’s not at all clear (anyway, not to me) why he should be ready for pasture, but he is, at least in terms of competing at the highest level.  In addition, Gamboa messed up in forgetting Dempsey’s “All the time he’s boxing, he’s thinking.  All the time he was thinking, I was hitting him.”

    By the way, I appreciate the history, never having heard of either of the “Kids.”  Not a nickname one hears much anymore; I suspect it was a throwback to the Old West.  Anyway, time once again for Omaha to be known for someone other than Warren Buffett, Marlin Perkins, and Charles Starkweather (well, all right, he was more Lincoln than Omaha).

  12. Rick 10:50pm, 06/28/2014

    I think Crawford would do himself to stay away from Mikey Garcia though. You won’t catch Garcia making any of the mistakes that Burns and Gamboa did against Crawford. I’d have to make Mikey a heavy favorite.

  13. Rick 10:37pm, 06/28/2014

    Crawford was just too big for Gamboa. I don’t think Gamboa has any business being in the LW division. LW is a weak division and I can’t see Crawford sticking around so it’ll be interesting to see how he holds up against a bigger guy. Would like to see Crawford mix it up with Garcia or Matthysse but those are both not likely for various reasons. Maybe Rios or even Pac?

Leave a comment