Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Terence Crawford-Yuriorkis Gamboa: Post Report Card

By Cliff Rold

It was a beautiful dissection.

It’s been clear for quite some time that Cuba’s Yuriorkis Gamboa is flawed.  His frequent trips to the canvas and ability to make drama out of walkovers left all the clues.  He kept escaping because the gifts he was blessed with, the power and speed, bailed him out.

On Saturday, Terence Crawford put together a complete performance to solve the riddle.  Gamboa brought a strong game.  It took a special counter to top it.

Was it indicative of a special fighter growing in our midst?

Let’s go the report cards.

Grades
Pre-Fight: Speed – Crawford A-; Gamboa A/Post: A-; A+
Pre-Fight: Power – Crawford B; Gamboa B+/Post: B+; B
Pre-Fight: Defense – Crawford B+; Gamboa B-/Post: B+; C
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Crawford B+; Gamboa B+/Post: A; B+

The plaudits calling it the Fight of the Year for 2014 so far might not be entirely accurate (there are a few fights this year that keep pace with Crawford-Gamboa), it is certainly a candidate.  The quality of the action, the combination of skill and hard hitting, was excellent.

This scribe didn’t see it quite as competitive as some though. 

HBO had Gamboa winning the first three rounds as did many in the press.  It might have been awe at the speed of Gamboa.  Crawford was right there with him even in the early rounds.  The only frame Gamboa definitively won was the third.  The first was two distinct halves, the second half favoring Crawford.  Round two was a coin flip, as was the fight going in.

Crawford rocked Gamboa seriously for the first time in round four.  Outside of a brief glimmer of hope for Gamboa in the ninth, it was almost all Crawford from there.  The taller, bigger (much by way of rehyrdration), and more disciplined man locked in and surgically took Gamboa apart.

Crawford’s body attack took the steam out his man and the right hand just wasn’t missing upstairs.  Prior to the fight, Crawford was still a bit of an x-factor.  We knew more about Gamboa, for better and worse.  What we knew bore fruit in his early effort and, almost, in round nine.  Gamboa was dangerous throughout. 

But now we know for sure about Crawford.  He’s the goods.  Will it carry above Lightweight?

That would seem the big question.  It’s still too early to declare Crawford a sure thing as he moves on in weight, something that appears imminent.  His two best wins are over a Ricky Burns and Gamboa who both came up the scale to Lightweight. 

At this moment, Lightweight isn’t the deepest class.  Jr. Welterweight is.  Crawford’s connection to Top Rank could mean a quick shot at someone like Jesse Vargas for a belt but the real challenges rest in men like Lucas Matthysse, Danny Garcia (if he sticks around), and perhaps Ruslan Provodnikov.  Crawford’s package of boxing and battler will mix just fine with those men.

And along the way we’ll find out even more.  Crawford has made it worth looking forward to.  On another note, his ability to put butts in seats in Omaha is a plus.  Nebraska has shown they’ll travel like few other regions for their Cornhuskers.  If he can tap into that, big fights could come sooner than later and we could have a genuine grass roots star on our hands.

For Gamboa, his stock should go up even if his body should probably head back to 130.  Jr. Lightweight has some good fights for him, namely Takashi Uchiyama and Takashi Miura.  Mikey Garcia could also factor in if he can resolve his issues with Top Rank.  We’ve not seen the last of Gamboa.  Now that he’s been brought down a rung, we might even see more of him.  

Report Card Picks 2014: 29-14

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Papaleo on 07-01-2014

There should be a database for this to make it easy to look up and compare grades between fighters.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Mike Jimenez Barely Beats Pryor, Findley Drills Donovan George Hearn: Great Offer Made To Wilder, Reluctant To Face Whyte Roach: I Once Thought Golovkin Kills Canelo - Now It's Dead Even Anthony Yigit vs. Sandor Martin Deal Reached, Purse Bid is Off Mohamed Rodriguez Shocks Manuel Mendez With Knockout Win Why Mayweather-McGregor Cannot Hurt Boxing De La Hoya: Canelo Has To Knock Golovkin Out! Photo: Kermit Cintron, Tyrone Brunson Ready For Battle De La Hoya: Golovkin Will Enter Ring First - NOT Canelo Mayweather Trainer Concerned: McGregor Has Crazy, Weird Power Onggocan Stops Pantilgan in Nine To Retain IBF Youth Belt Jonas, Saunders, Hall, Kelly, Fowler Win Bouts in Newcastle Canelo: Mayweather's Style Doesn't Make For Attractive Fights Seven British Boxers Head To Finals in Euro Championships Canelo: I Have To Be Smart, Elusive, Not Stand in Front of GGG Loeffler on The Venue Hunt For HBO Super Flyweight Triple Hearn: Ward-Kovalev Stopped Too Early - But Kovalev Was Done McGregor's Coach: Many Respected Boxers Have Offered Help Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn Picked Up By BoxNation Taras Shelestyuk Returns on 'Locked and Loaded' - July 1 Jermain Taylor is Broke, Facing Multiple Lawsuits Bryant Jennings, Top Rank Officially Announce Promotional Deal World Boxing Super Series - Live Draft on July 8 Hearn: Ward-Kovalev Not Promoted Right, I Would've Smashed It! Canelo-Golovkin: There Isn't Any Legitimate Bad Blood Alan Sanchez Faces Miguel Huerta in Woodland, California SHO's Espinoza: All Early Bets on McGregor To Beat Mayweather De La Hoya: Canelo-Golovkin Winner is No. 1 Pound-for-Pound Hopkins: Kovalev Stoppage Was Legit, Ward Wore Him Down George Groves Daring Zeuge To Enter World Boxing Super Series Fenech Backs Horn To Shock Pacquiao in History Making Fight Skoglund, Nielsen Brothers Could Be in Line For WBSS Tourney Wilder's Manager: We Want To Have All The Titles in 12 Months Gomera, Lee Make Weight For WBA Asia Title Bout in South Korea Video: Bernard Hopkins Talks Ward-Kovalev, Canelo-GGG Tony Weeks Owes Apologies to Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward Photos: Canelo, Golovkin - Go Face To Face in Los Angeles! Davis vs. Salido Being Eyed For Mayweather-McGregor PPV? Canelo: The Mayweather-McGregor Fight Will Hurt Boxing A lot Alimento Makes 30-day Mandatory Weight for WBC Regional
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement