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Gamboa’s career takes a big hit in losing to Crawford

Yuriorkis GamboaBy Dan Ambrose: Former IBF/WBA featherweight champion Yuriokis Gamboa (23-1, 16 KO’s) suffered a huge blow to his career in losing tonight to WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford (24-0, 17 KO’s) in his first defense of his WBO 135 pound title at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

Gamboa came into the fight needing a big win to keep his career afloat after having done nothing for the last year. But it was Crawford who came out on top in the fight knocking the Cuban down 4 times in getting a knockout in the 9th round. Gamboa got to his feet after getting planted by a right uppercut, but there was no way that referee Genaro Hernandez was going to allow Gamboa to continue fighting.

Earlier in the 9th round, Crawford connected on a beautiful left hook to the head to put Gamboa down for the first time in the round. Gamboa was beyond the point of no return after that knockdown because his legs were gone, and he looked groggy as he attempted to fight back.

Gamboa gave a good effort in the first rounds, as he fought well enough to deserve to win three of those rounds. But in the 5th, Gamboa caught with a left hook and knocked down. From then on it was all Crawford with him finding it increasingly easy to land his big power shots against Gamboa, who looked like he’d lost his senses completely. Gamboa was lucky to get out of the 5th because he was really hurt bad late when he tried to trade shots before his head was fully clear.

Gamboa fought with desperation in the 7th and 8th rounds, but he was hit with a right hand counter in the 8th round to taste the canvas for the second time in the fight. Gamboa took a lot of heavy shots in the 8th round, and his face showed it with the swelling that he had on book cheekbones and under his right eye.

The fight seemed all but over going into the 9th round, but somehow Gamboa was able to catch Crawford with a big shots that hurt him. Crawford immediately retreated to the ropes with Gamboa following after him trying to catch him with shots. Crawford tied Gamboa up and didn’t allow him to land any additional shots at that point. Crawford then connected with a left hook to the jaw that put Gamboa down on the canvas.

Gamboa staggered to his feet and could barely stand straight while being checked out by the referee. The fight then continued as Crawford then connected with a right uppercut that on the chin of Gamboa, sending him down on the canvas for his 4th knockdown in the fight. The referee Genaro Hernandez had no other option but to stop the fight at 2:53 of the round.

The loss is a bitter pill for Gamboa, because he had been hoping to get a victory over Crawford and then use the win to get some bigger names. But Gamboa won’t be able to do that now, and depending on how inactive he remains after this fight, he could be about finished with his career.

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