Gamboa Destroys Estrada, Lara Stops Gross

By Boxing News - 02/23/2009 - Comments

lara4464By Jim Dower: The Cuban amateur stars had a good time on Friday night beating their low quality opposition in the 1st round in a pair of fights shown on ESPN at the Buffalo Bill’s Star Arena, in Primm, Nevada. Light middleweight Erislandy Lara (4-0, 3 KOs), looked very impressive in stopping American Keith Gross (3-1, 1 KO) in the 1st round, needing only 69 seconds to take him out.

Lara, 25, a three time former national amateur star from Cuba, came out jabbing Gross in the opening seconds of the round. Lara, a southpaw, aimed his jabs at the midsection of Gross and followed him around the ring. Within seconds, Lara spotted in opening and drove a straight left hand down the pipe knocking Gross down. Gross staggered to his feet and the fight continued.

Lara then began landing combinations, knocking Gross backwards up against the ropes with a left hand. The ropes seemed to hold Gross up, because he looked to be on his way to the canvas if not for the ropes holding him up. With Gross trapped in the corner, Lara landed a hard-right-left that knocked him off balance in the corner.

Lara then landed a chopping left hand as Gross was now standing in a low crouch to try and present a smaller target for Lara’s hard shots. The left hand drove Gross’s head down further towards the floor almost knee level. Lara then landed a perfect left uppercut that straightened Gross’s head upwards, but then send him down for the 2nd and final time in the round. Referee Telis Assimenios moved in and stopped the bout at 1:09 of the 1st.

In other action on the card, featherweight contender featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa (14-0, 12 KOs) stopped Walter Estrada (35-9, 24 KOs) 35 seconds into the 1st round after nailing him with a right hand. Estrada went down as if he was shot, despite the punch looking to be only an average shot and not a particularly hard looking one.

Estrada rolled over on his side and was promptly counted out by the referee at 2:37 of the round. The fight had little action because of the briefness of it. Before the knockout, Estrada came forward missing some shots. Gamboa tried attacking on his own and also missed with several shots.

Estrada backed to the corner and was grabbed by Gamboa who held him by the head and landed a nice left uppercut. The punch was illegal but the referee wasn’t quick enough to see it. A fraction of a second later, Gamboa tagged Estrada with a left to the midsection followed by a right to the head, sending Estrada down for the count.

The fight was then immediately stopped because Estrada was too hurt to continue.
Gamboa did what he had to do to get the win.

It’s not his fault that he was set up with such a terrible opponent, one that looked as if he didn’t want to be there and fought like he didn’t either.

Also on the card, Cuban heavyweight Ramon Garbey (19-4, 13 KOs) defeated American Mike Sheppard (11-9-1, 6 KOs) by a four-round unanimous decision. The final judges’ scores were 40-33, 40-33 and 40-33. Garbey, 37, a one-time Cuban amateur star in the early 90s, was seeing action for the first time in two years. The long layoff didn’t seem to hurt him in this case, not preventing him from dominating the unskilled Sheppard and knocking him down three times.

Sheppard, 33, was knocked down once late in the 3rd by a short right hand counter from Garbey, and twice in the 4th by two more right hands from the Cuban. Sheppard landed some hard shots of his own, but he kept getting caught with hard counter shots by Garbey and was unable to make the fight competitive. For a 37-year-old fighter with so much time away from the ring, Garbey looked remarkably good.

If he was to drop a little weight he might be a factor in the cruiserweight division. I could see him beating some of the top cruiserweights like Herbie Hide and Marco Huck without too many problems. At 6’2” 203, it shouldn’t be hard for Garbey to take the weight off to make the cruiserweight limit.