The majority of fight fans last saw Yuriorkis Gamboa (24 -1, 17 KOs) in his title challenge of Terrance Crawford in June of last year. Gamboa entered the bout as an underdog for the first time in his pro career. He would take on Crawford in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska in a bout aired live on HBO. Gamboa came out aggressively toward Crawford in the early going. This would backfire on him in round 5 when he was dropped by Crawford. Behind on points because of the knockdown Gamboa would become even more on the offensive. Gamboa would find himself down again in round 8. It became quite evident that if Gamboa was going to go out it was going to be on shield. He would stagger Crawford in round 9 but this seemed to only wake Crawford up. Crawford would then drop Gamboa twice shortly afterwards in the very same round to end the fight. Crawford entered the fight as a world champion but the victory elevated his status immensely. Gamboa on the other hand was dealt a major setback.
It’s hard to believe that its been more than a decade since Gamboa was making his mark in the non pro ranks. Gamboa was a very accomplished amateur coming out of Cuba. He won Olympic gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. In December 2006 he would defect from Cuba eventually making a home in Miami, Florida. Gamboa would turn pro in 2007 and right away you could see the star potential as he mowed down the competition at a rapid pace. In just his 10th pro fight he was the main event HBO. Gamboa would become a world champion in just his 15th pro fight and a unified world champion in less than 20 fights. Gamboa was still unbeaten in 2012 but inactivity would follow and his appearances on the premium cable networks were decreasing. In the few appearances he did make his performances seemed to suffer in the ring partially due to ring rust from the inactivity. When Gamboa entered the ring to face Crawford he had not fought in nearly a year. This was too long as it showed against a young and extremely talented stud like Crawford.
Gamboa returned back to the ring following the Crawford loss in November 2014 and stopped veteran Joel Montes de Oca as expected in rd 6 in Cancun, Mexico. He is now said to be returning to the ring in April 25th in Miami, Florida with an opponent to soon be announced. The show is to be aired on Oscar De La Hoya’s new “De la Hoya TV”. Gamboa has dropped down to 130 which is a more ideal wait for him. He is currently ranked number 7 by the WBC. The 130 pound division is not boxing’s strongest by a longshot. Gamboa could realistically be contending for a world title before the end of the year. There is no denying the talent of Gamboa but he definitely needs to become more active in the ring. There is no shame that his only career loss to date was to Crawford who has proven he is for real. Gamboa still has plenty of time to add more successful chapters to his story.