For the first four rounds of this fight, Terence Crawford looked like he was fallen victim to the hometown hero syndrome. To explain, the hometown hero syndrome is when a fighter goes home to fight; family, friends and all other pressures outside the ring before a big event sometimes can distract the hometown fighter, and in a lot of cases the fighter will crumble to the pressures of trying not to let their hometown crowd down.
Photo Credit: espn.go.com
Yuriorkis Gamboa seemed to be the guy to up-end the family reunion that Crawford had going on in Omaha, Nebraska because for the first four rounds of this fight Gamboa looked quicker and more engaged in the fight. Crawford seemed to appear tight in those first four rounds, and I was saying to myself, “Dude, you have a 70 inch reach so use it to gain control in the fight!!”
Well, little did we know that Crawford was simply just going through the feel out process with Gamboa, and after four rounds, Crawford seemed to listen to the boxing world because he picked up the pace in a hurry.
In round 5, Gamboa was pressing Crawford and got caught with a huge right hand shot that sent Gamboa flying to the canvas. Gamboa got up off the canvas and just went for broke which created one of the best rounds of 2014. Gamboa would get rocked at least two more times in that 5th round by Crawford, but managed to survive the 5th barely as Gamboa was clearly on shaky legs.
From the 5th fight on, the fight turned into Gamboa’s heart vs. Crawford’s skillfulness. Crawford did a great job using his reach to control the fight and simply punish Gamboa from round 5 on. One caveat we must remember as well is that Crawford fought most of this fight from the southpaw stance so that lets you know that Crawford is going to be special moving forward.
Gamboa showed his toughness by continuing to move forward in hopes of landing something big, but Crawford’s accuracy was just laser sharp as he kept catching Gamboa with all sorts of counter shots. Crawford’s counterpunching would prove to be too much for Gamboa again as Crawford caught Gamboa in the 8th round with a counter jab as Gamboa was coming in, followed by a left hook, a right hook, and another left hook that sent Gamboa and his wobbly legs down.
Now comes round 9!! This is another round that can be considered for “Round of the year 2014.”
Crawford caught Gamboa with yet another counter left hook. Gamboa, however, would finally get a shot to go after Crawford as he caught Crawford was a big right hand shot that sent Crawford stumbling back. Gamboa went in to capitalize on the wounded Crawford as he was going for broke again by throwing bombs from everywhere to try and knock out Crawford.
Crawford would get the last nod; however, as Gamboa’s recklessness would lead to him getting caught by a vicious left hook from Crawford that sent Gamboa to the canvas for a third time. Gamboa got up from the canvas only to get sent back to the canvas one last time by Crawford as the referee stopped the fight.
Crawford satisfied his hometown crowd of Omaha, Nebraska and the boxing world as he was awarded the 9th KO victory. Crawford will remain the WBO lightweight champion in what a lot of boxing fans will consider the best fight of 2014!!
What a great fight!! It is great to see two young fighters in their prime come together and put on such a crowd pleasing fight like the boxing world got to witness last night!!
Crawford is a surefire superstar after his performance last night, and Gamboa will still be a great fighter after going down in defeat. We need for more fighters to step up and fight each other like these two fighters did, instead of fighters running from each other and waiting until the money is right!!
The fight between Terence Crawford and Yuriorkis Gamboa is definitely what the sport of boxing is all about. WE NEED MORE FIGHTS LIKE THIS BOXING WORLD!!