By Keith Idec
ATLANTIC CITY — Yuriorkis Gamboa wasn’t dissatisfied with his performance Saturday night against Daniel Ponce De Leon.
Though he wasn’t as spectacular as he was in knocking out Jorge Solis in the fourth round of his last fight, Gamboa was pleased with how he out-boxed Ponce De Leon for much of their HBO main event at Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Ballroom.
“Those are the changes that I’m making right now, from an amateur to a professional,” Gamboa said through a translator. “I’m showing that I don’t have to be all crazy, reckless. … They said if the fight went that long he would knock me out. I wanted to show that I could dominate the fight. I can do whatever I want in the ring.”
Gamboa also said this was his last fight at featherweight. He expects his next fight to be contested at junior lightweight, but wouldn’t specify who he wants to fight.
Gamboa was winning their scheduled 12-round featherweight fight by large margins on all three scorecards when it was stopped in the eighth round due to a cut on Ponce De Leon’s forehead.
Ponce De Leon’s laceration was caused by an accidental headbutt and a ringside physician ruled Ponce De Leon couldn’t continue.
That’s why the fight went to the scorecards. Cuba’s Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs) was in front 80-72 on two scorecards and 79-73 on the third card when the fight was stopped. Ponce De Leon didn’t protest the stoppage.
“I saw [the head-butt] coming, but I couldn’t get out of the way,” Ponce De Leon said. “It was a good stoppage because it was in a spot that it wasn’t going to stop bleeding, and there was two minutes left in the round.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, NJ., and BoxingScene.com.