Gamboa vs. Seeger Tonight
By Jason Kim: Undefeated Cuban super featherweight star Yuriorkis Gamboa (10-0, 8 KOs) fights tonight against last minute replacement Al Seeger (27-3, 21 KOs) in a 10-round bout at the Buffalo Bill’s Star Arena, in Primm, Nevada. Gamboa, 26, is hoping to make an impressive statement tonight with a quick knockout performance. Up until his recent fight against Darling Jimenez in May, Gamboa had looked impressive. However, that fight exposed him as having huge gaps in his defensive abilities, as well as problems with his stamina and conditioning. Tonight, Gamboa will be fighting as a featherweight rather than a super featherweight, where Gamboa’s excellent power will likely enable to be even more of a threat than he was in he higher weight class. Gamboa apparently has little problem moving either up or down in weight, as long as it’s only in small five pound increments.
A 2004 Gold Medalist from Cuba, Gamboa has quickly proven himself to one of the top super featherweights in the division after having fought only 10 fights. Ranked number#3 in the WBC, Gamboa is being moved forward with lightning speed by his handlers, who must see him as ready to fight for the championship.
However, his last fight Against Jimenez, a good B class fighter, seemed to indicate that Gamboa isn’t quite ready to take on the best fighters in the super featherweight division, especially ones that have a good chin, excellent stamina and good power. Considered somewhat small for a super featherweight, Gamboa might have problems if matched against a taller, tougher opponent like Humberto Soto or someone like Edwin Valero, both of whom would be throwing very hard shots at the smaller Gamboa and might have too much fire power and size for him to take for long without going down.
For this reason, perhaps, Gamboa is being moved down to the featherweight division, at least for this fight tonight, to see how well her performs at lighter weight class. Gamboa doesn’t believe in taking things slow in his fights, and typically goes right after his opponents from the opening bell, trying to take them out with a massive flurry of shots. It’s unclear whether Gamboa is going to be able to keep this style of fighting up when faced against better fighters, whether that be in the featherweight or super featherweight class. Sooner or later, he’s going find another opponent similar to Darling Jimenez, who will be able to take his power and fire back with even better shots. At this point, Gamboa will have to learn to adapt or else finding himself getting beaten again and again by the top echelon of the division.
In a lot of cases, former Cuban stars are good in bouts that short, like 1-5 rounds, but when they go much beyond that, we start to see a downward effect on their performances. This seemed to be the case for Gamboa in his fight with Jimenez in May, as Gamboa faded after he 5th round, and and appeared to stop trying to score a knockout because of his fading stamina. Gamboa was dropped in the 4th round after eating a right hand from the light-hitting Jimenez.
The knockdown, along with his fading performance in the later rounds, seemed to be an indication that Gamboa has a lot flaws that he needs to work on in his conditioning and defensive areas before he should even consider stepping it up against one of the champions or against a top contender like Soto. Personally, I think Soto would probably destroy Gamboa, who wouldn’t have the size, work rate or power to deal with Soto for long. Perhaps for this reason, we may be seeing Gamboa fighting exclusively in the featherweight division from now on. At the lower weight, there’s no monsters like Soto for the diminutive Gamboa to have to worry about fighting.