Gamboa vs. Rojas on September 11th – News
By Jim Dower: WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (18-0, 15 KO’s) will be facing his best opponent thus far when he takes on WBC featherweight champion Elio Rojas (22-1, 13 KO’s) in a title unification bout on September 11th in a still to be determined location.
Gamboa, the 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist for Cuba, was supposed to be fighting Orlando Salido, which would have been a terrible bout because Salido would have been way over his head against the lighting quick and powerful Gamboa.
However, with Rojas inserted in his place, the bout is at least watchable. Rojas, 27, is a good fighter, with wins over Hector Velasquez, WBC featherweight champion Takahiro Ao and Guty Espadas Jr. in the past two years. Rojas, 5’7”, will have a two inch height advantage over Gamboa and a five inch reach advantage.
That probably won’t be enough to hold Gamboa back for long. Rojas is a slick fighter and good at using his jab, but he can’t punch his way out of a paper bag, unfortunately for him. I think he’s going to get broken apart by Gamboa and this fight likely will be short and brutal. Rojas doesn’t have the experience yet to be taking on a fighter like Gamboa, and I see this ending badly for Rojas.
He seems to have drifted through six years of his pro career without fighting anyone until recently, and he hasn’t looked sensational in his fights against Velasquez, Ao and Espadas. He’s looked good enough to win, but not an impressive fighter. While I like the Gamboa-Rojas bout a lot more than the Gamboa-Salido fight, not much more. I would have liked to have seen Gamboa matched against Celestino Caballero, Juan Manuel Lopez, Rafael Marquez, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Antonio Escalante, or Chris John.
I think Rojas is a good fighter, maybe the 5th or 6th best fighter in the featherweight division. He doesn’t have the power to compete with Gamboa and I see this as a bad match-up for him and a bad one for boxing fans because Rojas is going to get destroyed.
Hopefully he puts up a good fighter before getting knocked cold by Gamboa.
The undercard fight might actually turn out to be better than Gamboa-Rojas. Unbeaten lightweight contender Anthony Peterson (30-0, 20 KO’s) will be fighting unbeaten Brandon Rios (24-0, 18 KO’s) in the WBA lightweight title eliminator bout.
Rios, 24, can punch if nothing else and will be testing Peterson’s chin from the get go. Rios destroyed the tough Jorge Luis Teron in the 3rd round in his last fight in February. Peterson, 25, stopped Juan Ramon Cruz in the 3rd round in his last fight in March. Both Peterson and Rios are highly ranked by the WBC, with Peterson ranked #1 and Rios ranked number #5.