Gamboa/Lopez KO Game Opponents
Last night, HBOs showcase card for future champs Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez went over perfectly as both young pugilists scored impressive KOs over solid competition.
Gamboa (17-0, 15 KOs) opened the card against battle-tested Rogers Mtagwa (26-14-2, 18 KOs), were nearly KOd Lopez last year in a thrilling, Fight of the Year candidate decision loss.
There would be no such heroics this night.
Gamboa came out guns blazing in round one, stunning Mtagwa with a hard left hook. Mtagwa was considerably slower, and repeatedly was smashed flush with right and left hooks to the head and body. Near the end of the stanza, Mtagwa was dropped to the canvas with a left hook to the top of the head. Rogers made it to his feet, clearly stunned but able to continue.
Gamboa showed no mercy in round two, punishing Mtagwa for getting wild with more right-left hooks. Mtagwa was staggered badly several times, and knocked down again from a flurry of hooks.
Mtagwa made it to his feet, but was flattened to the canvas for a third time from a right hook, prompting referee Steve Smoger to halt the contest.
In the post-fight interview, Gamboa boasted on how easily he disposed of Mtagwa in relation to rival Juan Manuel Lopez.
Two different boxers, two different categories, and you cant compare Juan Manuel Lopez to Yuriorkis Gamboa, he explained. Its in the hands of the promoters. Im ready for any boxer they put out in front of me.
The main event saw Juan Manuel Lopez (28-0, 25 KOs) capture the WBO featherweight title with a 7th round TKO over technician Steven Luevano (37-2-1, 15 KOs).
The southpaw Luevano was able to counter Lopez at times early with straight lefts and right hooks, but lacked the firepower to keep the stalking challenger from walking him down.
In the 3rd, Lopez stunned Luevano with counter straight lefts off the champions jab, and followed up with a strong left uppercut against the ropes. Luevano reset and tried to work the body, but consistently got caught with right hooks on his way out.
Rounds 5 and 6 showcased Lopez taking the fight more inside and forcing Luevano into dangerous exchanges. Each time, the champion got the worst of it, catching flush hooks and uppercuts. Still Luevano refused to yield, despite being forced to retreat at the end of round 6 after being hurt by a series of hooks to the body.
JuanMa started the ending sequence early in the 7th courtesy of a sneaky right uppercut that wobbled Luevano. The champion stumbled backward, trapping himself in a corner where Lopez finished him with a right hook-straight left combination.
Luevano made it to his feet, but referee Benji Estevez wisely stopped the contest just 44 seconds into the round.
When asked about Gamboas explosive win against his struggles with Mtagwa, Juan Manuel Lopez proclaimed the he would not suffer the same KO fate.
My dream is to be champion in 4 divisions, this is number 2, and Im very happy to have shown the crowd a great fight, Lopez told HBOs Max Kellerman. It doesnt matter what he did. Mtagwa weighed 122 pound and the fight was at 126. What happened with Mtagwa wont happen to me, 2 different styles. If its Gamboa, [Israel] Vazquez, or [Rafael] Marquez, it doesnt matter.
Juan Manuel Lopez-Yuriorkis Gamboa is likely the most exciting fight that can be made below junior welterweight. Lopez is more experienced, has fought better opposition, and proven he can survive a dogfight. On the other hand, Gamboa is much more explosive with combinations, and possesses better handspeed.
For Lopez to win, hell want to take the fight inside. Lopez is much better at unleashing short, sneaky punches on the inside that opponents dont see. There, Gamboas speed edge wont be as significant, and the Cuban wont be able to generate as much leverage.
Gamboa will seek to keep the contest outside and from mid range. Both fighters are hook happy and can be tagged, but Gamboas faster hands ensure that most times he’ll land first. And with dynamite in both hands, he retains the power to possibly score a knockdown and eventually a knockout.
The fight is pretty much even money if its made later this year. Whos your pick?
Dana White Reveals Possible May 1 Date for Mayweather-Mosley
The boxing world has been abuzz the last week over the ongoing negotiations between welterweight stars Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather. At press time, an official fight announcement is imminent .
Not everyone is happy about the superfight. UFC president Dana White, a long outspoken critic of the current boxing scene, revealed that he has moved his PPV card UFC 113 from May 1 to May 8 to prevent another PPV wipeout. Last September, UFCs 103 card was soundly trounced when it went head on against Mayweather-Marquez, posting 400,000 buys to Mayweather-Marquezs 1 million.
We were trying to not go the same night as boxing, but these fucking guys cant get out of their own way, fumed White to Yahoo! Sports. I have never seen anything so unorganized, selfish, and dysfunctional as boxing. Its a joke.
Mayweather and Mosleys camps are continuing to scramble to make the fight, following Berto-Mosley being cancelled over Bertos loss of several family members in Haiti. To date, the negotiations are said to have hit no snag point. Mosley has agreed to random, Olympic style blood testing (which destroyed the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight), and the site will be in Las Vegas, likely the MGM Grand.
Sources stated a press release may have come last Friday, so expect the fight to be announced sometime this week.
Allan Green Enters Super Six Tournament
With Jermain Taylor resigning from the Super Six tournament following 2 bad KO losses, contender Allan Green will step up to face new WBA Super-middleweight champion Andre Ward on April 17.
Green was originally supposed to face Sakio Bika on February 5, but got the call after Bika decided not to sign for unverified reasons.
Unlike the remaining Super Six (Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler, Andre Ward, Andre Dirrell), Green enters the Group Stage 2 without a fight under his belt, meaning no points and having to play catch-up to winners Abraham, Froch, and Ward.
Greens promoter, Lou DiBella, promoted Jermain Taylor before stepping down in December in fear of Taylors health.
“It wasn’t like it was planned for Allan to take over for Jermain,” DiBella told ESPN.com. “Had we not had the tournament available for us, we were in consideration to fight [titleholder] Lucian Bute [in April]. Allan would have had other opportunities. That said, I think Allan is the right guy for the spot.
He’s a big puncher and that’s his great equalizer. Ward is a tremendously talented boxer but if you get hit flush by Green, you’re going to have problems, and I think that will be a real issue for Andre. That will make it an interesting fight He has a disadvantage [from the points system], but he has that great ability to get the three points in any fight as well as anyone in the tournament outside of Abraham. He was prepared to fight his way into the tournament by fighting Bika and the cancellation of that fight gave him the opportunity to walk in. Now it’s up to him to take advantage of that opportunity.”
Andre Wards last fight was a stunningly lopsided upset win over Mikkel Kessler inNovember. Green last bout was a unanimous decision over Tarvis Simms in October.
News and Notes
– Antonio Margarito (37-6, 27 KOs) has signed to fight Carson Jones (24-7-1) on the undercard of Pacquiao-Clottey in March. Margarito has applied to have his license reinstated in Texas. He was suspended for 1 year last January in California for attempting to fight Shane Mosley with illegal, plaster-covered hand wraps. Mosley TKOd him in 9 rounds
– WBA 140 pound champ Amir Khan has received a 2-week extension from the WBA to work out a contract to face mandatory challenger Marcos Maidana. Other potential opponents for Khan include Paulie Malignaggi, Nate Campbell, and Juan Diaz
– Paul Williams will make his return to HBO on April 10. An opponent hasnt been named.Williams last fight was a controversial unanimous decision win over Sergio Martinez in December
Mythical Matchup of the Week: Roy Jones, Jr vs. Bob Foster (At Light-Heavyweight)
This week, Im matching two of the best ever from the 175 pound division: pound for pound phenom Roy Jones, Jr and feared knockout artist Bob Foster.
Jones entered the light-heavyweight in his physical prime at the age of 27, kicking off his campaign with an easy victory over the faded Mike McCallum to pick up the interim WBC title.
After a dubious DQ loss in his next bout against Montell Griffin, Roy went on a tear, KOing Griffin in 1 round in the rematch, and making 11 title defenses from 1998-2002. He was simply too fast and skilled for his hopelessly overmatched opponents. With the lack of competition and being unable to come to terms with WBO champ Dariusz Michalczewski, Jones jumped to heavyweight and made history defeating John Ruiz for the WBA title.
Upon his return to light-heavyweight in 2003, Jones was diminished due to age and the strain of dropping nearly 20 pounds. He has gone 6-5 since, the bulk of his defeats coming to every elite opponent hes faced.
At his best, Roy Jones was near impossible to hit clean due to inhuman reflexes and countering ability. He could launch 5-6 punch combinations in seconds, and leap in and out of range before opponents could reset or properly adjust their guards.
Bob Foster was the king of the light-heavyweights in the late 60s through the mid-70s. His reign began with a crushing KO of Dick Tiger, who previously had only been stopped 15 years earlier in his pro debut.
With a lithe 63 frame and 79 inch reach, Foster was able to generate massive, whiplash-like power. Of his 14 title defenses from 1968-1974, 10 were won by knockout. His only losses in this period were attempts to move up and beat 2 all-time great heavyweights in Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. In the latter contest, Foster became the only man to ever cut Muhammad Ali and at times outjabbed the Greatest before suffering a TKO in the 8th.
Both men have never seen a fighter like the other. In spite of the vast array of opponents he faced, Foster would be surprised by the sheer speed and unorthodox combination punching of Jones. On his end, Jones would be contending with a 5 inch reach disadvantage, and giving up 4 inches in height. Roy would be putting his speed to the test, as hed have to be get off and leap away from the countering danger of Fosters lethal left hook and straight right.
This matchup is tough to gauge because Roy was so dominant in his prime, first light-heavy career. Unfortunately, after the drop down from heavyweight he faced his toughest competition in Antonio Tarver, Glen Johnson, and Joe Calzaghe when clearly past prime.
Jones has pop at 175, but Foster through his near 20 year career only ran into problems with power when he ventured to heavyweight, and the final years of the 70s when he was on the slide. I feel Fosters piston-jab will serve to be an essential rhythm-disruptor to Jones, who wont be able to counter over it without putting himself in danger due to Fosters reach and height. Jones would be wise to target Bobs body (think the right hook shot on Virgil Hill).
Based on Fosters numbing power, skill, and Roys chin issues, I cannot fathom Jones being able to evade Fosters shots for 12-15 rounds. My prediction is Bob Foster by KO between the 9-12th rounds, likely coming from a left hook.