Cuban Fighters Gamboa and Solis
Have Easy Time
At “Island Warriors”, As Does Wolak
By Tim Donaldson
There is a lot of hype right now surrounding Cuban fighters
Yuriorkis Gamboa and Odlanier Solis. Both Gamboa and Solis
won their fights, but to be honest, I saw little to support
Heavyweight Odlanier Solis had little trouble defeating
Monte Barrett. In fact, Barrett never looked like he was
really in the fight. However, this does not make me
impressed with Solis either. It wasn’t that Solis was that
much better than Barrett, but rather, it was that Solis was
that much bigger than Barrett. Solis weighed in at 271
pounds; whereas, Barrett weighed in at a measly 218 pounds.
In the first round, Barrett was throwing more punches than
Solis, but they were having little impact on Solis. The
punches that Solis threw did seem to have more power behind
them. The second round was just ugly. Barrett was knocked
down early. Although he beat the count, he was shaky for
what was left of the round. Barrett went down two more times
before the referee put a stop to the fight. But to be honest
from where I was sitting, it looked like Solis simply threw
Barrett to the floor. It looked more like a WWE wrestling
match than professional boxing. The fight was over 1:52 in
Barrett never really had a chance because Solis was able to
use his weight against him. Solis fell on Barrett when he
was up against the ropes, again seeming more like a
wrestling match. Am I saying that Solis is not a good boxer?
No. Absolutely not. But I am saying that this was no test
for Solis. In fact, it would be no test for any decent
fighter who had a 50 pound weight advantage over his
opponent. It is time for the sanctioning bodies to face
facts. With more and more heavyweights weighing in at these
sizes, it is time to create a new weight class for them.
Yuriorkis Gamboa defended his WBA World Featherweight title
against Whyber Garcia. Like Solis, he easily won. Gamboa
threw more punches and connected more than Garcia. According
to CompuBox, Gamboa landed 64 power punches to Garcia’s 10.
So you ask why I wasn’t impressed with this fight either.
Again, it is not that I don’t think that Gamboa is a good
fighter. He is. But professional boxing demands more than
just a good fighter. Professional boxing demands a fighter
that creates excitement for the crowd, a fighter that draws
spectators to the sport. In this fight, I did not see Gamboa
The first round was slow, and Gamboa did not get active
until the last thirty seconds of the round. You might say
that is normal. Lots of fighters start a fight slow, feeling
their opponents out during the first round. But the second
and third rounds were not much better. Gamboa easily
controlled both rounds, but he seemed to be doing more
jumping around than punching. It seemed that he was doing
just enough to win.
The crowd’s reaction to all of this? There was no reaction.
It was the quietest twelve minutes of the night. It wasn’t
until the fourth round when Gamboa became more active,
knocking Garcia down, that the crowd really became vocal.
Maybe that was what Gamboa needed because Gamboa then came
to life, catching Garcia in the corner. Garcia was unable to
protect himself or fight back, forcing the referee to end
the fight. Gamboa won by TKO :58 in the fourth round.
Super Welterweight Pawel Wolak also easily won his fight
against Carlos Nascimento. Going into the fight, they looked
like an even match. Both have a record of 24 wins and 1
loss. However, records can be deceiving. Wolak cut the right
eye of Nascimento in the first round. Wolak controlled the
action and pushed Nascimento around the ring.
The second round was a little more even. They were fighting
in close and at a fast pace. Nascimento even seemed to
control the end of the round. But you couldn’t really say
that either fighter was dominating the round. In the fourth
round, Wolak outclassed Nascimento. Nascimento was caught
against the ropes for most of the round. By the end of the
round, his face was bloody and he looked tired. The fifth
round was much the same. Wolak knocked Nascimento around the
ring. Nascimento went down. Toward the end of the round,
Nascimento tried to change the momentum of the fight, but it
was just too late. His corner, under the advice of the
ringside physician, decided to end the fight.
The televised undercard of Island Warriors produced no
surprises. Everyone who was expected to win, won easily. But
as a boxing fan, sometimes a surprise is a good thing.