32-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-0, 16 KO’s) has been interested in getting a big fight for the last few years, and finally he’s gotten his wish as he’ll be challenging WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford (23-0, 16 KO’s) on June 28th on HBO from the CenturyLink Center, in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.
The winner of the Crawford-Gamboa fight could find himself in the running for a possible fight against Manny Pacquiao in the future if Pacquiao stays with Top Rank at the end of the year. Pacquiao plans on moving down in weight to the light welterweight division at 140, and that’s only 5 pounds away from the lightweight division’s weight of 135. The winner of the Crawford vs. Gamboa fight would be the perfect opponent for Pacquiao.
“I think this matches the two best lightweights in the world,” said Bob Arum of Top Rank to ESPN’s Dan Rafael. “I believe the winner legitimately establishes himself as No.1 in the weight class. This fight is just as good, maybe better than [Mikey] Garcia-Gamboa. We just couldn’t live with Mikey’s financial demands…Gamboa does have a lot of power, but like most Cuban fighters he’ very cautious and a very good boxer. Crawford is a superb boxer.”
If Crawford loses this fight, it’s going to be a huge blow to Arum, as this is his fighter and he has big plans for his future. It’ll look bad if Gamboa crushes those plans by getting to Crawford’s chin and nailing him with a shot that he’s too slow to react to. Crawford is hard to hit, and a very good counter puncher. However, his last opponent Ricky Burns hit him plenty of time in their fight last March. Crawford won the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores of 116-112, 117-111, and 116-112. The fight was a lot closer than people thought it would be, and that’s a sign that Crawford isn’t as good as people think he is. If he was what people thought he was, he’d have made easy work of Burns, but instead of was a fairly competitive fight.