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  Featherweight Fury Lives Up To Name:
Gamboa Converts Unbelievers,
Garcia Defeats Remillard

By Tim Donaldson
Photos: "Sugar" Ray Bailey


Yuriorkis Gamboa has his followers. They can be heard making statements, blasphemous to some, like Gamboa has as much raw talent as Manny Pacquiao. They might be a small group right now, but they are growing in size. And Yuriorkis Gamboa is doing his part to bring as many into his fold as he can. His stunning defeat of Jorge Solis is just one more example of the amazing power of Gamboa.

Now Jorge Solis knew what he was getting into when he stepped into the ring. At least, he told us that he did. And we have no reason to doubt him. As we have all heard, Solis did fight Manny Pacquiao. In fact, he went eight rounds with Pacquiao, which is four more than he went with Gamboa. However, Solis deserves credit. At no point in the fight did Solis look like he had any intention of giving up.

The first round looked like any other first round in any number of fights. The two fighters just feeling out their opponents, trying to find a weakness that they can capitalize on. A few differences could be seen. Solis was fighting with his left hand down at his side. Gamboa kept both hands up. There were a couple of meaningful trades between the two in that round, but nothing that really foreshadowed the devastation that was to come. At one point, Gamboa tried to take advantage of an off balance Solis with no luck.

Anyone who thought the fight was going to continue like that was sadly mistaken. Gamboa came out in the second round ready to show the world what he can do. He knocked Solis down with a left within the first few seconds of the round. Solis, who has been down before, got up determined to continue. Gamboa, however, looked as though he wanted a quick end to this fight. He pressured Solis to the ropes and unleashed a series of shots, putting Solis back down on the canvas. Solis once again survived the count. Gamboa backed off some as the seconds ticked down to the end of the round. Solis appeared to be recovering from the two knockdowns, landing a few shots at the end of the round.

In the third, Gamboa and Solis were fighting in close. As the two were exchanging shots, Gamboa landed two to the back of Solis’s head. Gamboa was warned. This has been a problem before. Gamboa accepted the warning and got right back to work. Gamboa staggered Solis with a left. He was coming in and out, landing combinations each time. Then throwing a left hook, Gamboa once again knocked Solis down. At the bell Solis returned to his corner. He seemed somewhat stunned still from the knockdown. Seeing no stool in the corner, Solis took a walk down to the neutral corner and back.

The fourth round was to be the last. Gamboa came out and landed a hard right to the head of Solis. Solis went down again early in the round. Showing his determination, Solis signaled to his corner that he was fine and wanted to continue. After the count, Gamboa pressured Solis to the ropes, delivered a flurry of shots, knocking Solis down for the fifth and final time of the fight. That was it. Referee David Fields stopped the fight at 1:31.

As they showed the replay in the arena, it could be heard coming from some about the incredible speed with which Gamboa delivers his shots. Even in slow motion, Gamboa looks fast. Gamboa added to his following, and it couldn’t have hurt when Solis commented at the end that Gamboa’s punches have more power than Pacquiao’s. Is Gamboa truly that good? Or should I say great? Time will tell. But Gamboa’s following seems destined to grow.

In the other televised event of the evening Miguel Garcia won by TKO over Matt Remillard. Garcia might have been the challenger for the belts, but he showed that he deserved those belts more than Remillard. From round one it was Garcia who was coming forward, controlling the round. Garcia was effectively using his jab, setting up for his right. Remillard had little answer for this. In the beginning of the second round, Remillard was picking up his attack, but with little result. His shots were not getting through the arms of Garcia. Remillard couldn’t get through Garcia’s defenses. By the end of the round, Remillard’s face was red from being hit.

Garcia picked up his attack in the third, especially when Remillard did manage to slip a punch through. Remillard was closing up. Remillard, however, was able to back Garcia to the ropes. Garcia fought his way out and finished the round strong. The fourth round started with the two fighting toe to toe in the center of the ring. Garcia was getting the upper hand, as Remillard was having trouble finding his rhythm. Garcia dominated the fifth round. He was slipping shots to the head through the hands of Remillard. Remillard just kept backing up. By the end of the round, Remillard had closed up and just was not throwing.

Remillard tried to change the direction of the fight at the beginning of the sixth. He was coming forward, landing shots to the head, but as soon as Garcia started landing shots of his own, Remillard closed up again. The seventh round started with both Garcia and Remillard trading in the center of the ring. Neither were doing much more than using their jab. But as the round progressed, Garcia was once again putting his punches together. This pattern continued into the eighth. The two were once again fighting in close. Then Garcia landed a hard combination. He was keeping the pressure up, stopping Remillard from effectively landing any of his shots. Then with a series of punches, Garcia backed Remillard to the ropes at the bell.

Garcia kept up the pressure in the ninth round, backing Remillard around the ring. Remillard’s only defense at this point seemed to be to hold on to Garcia. Garcia dropped Remillard to the canvas. Remillard survived the count. Garcia came right back at him, dropping him again with a right to the chin. Remillard seemed to have no defense left by the tenth. He went down early in the round, but it was ruled a slip. Remillard found himself caught on the ropes. He was staying covered, but a right hand put him down again. He managed to land a couple hard shots to the chin of Garcia, but it was not enough. Remillard and his corner chose not to continue after the tenth round.

Teon Kennedy and Jorge Diaz fought an all-out war in the ring. The first two rounds were back and forth, neither fighter able to dominate the rounds. Diaz was doing a little more in those rounds, winning the first round on two of the judges’ scorecards and the second on all three. Kennedy was able to change the direction of the fight in the third. Kennedy was using his jab to keep Diaz out. Then with a body shot, he was able to drop Diaz onto one knee, enough for a knockdown. The fourth round started in Kennedy’s favor, but Diaz was landing more as the fight progressed. Diaz was outworking Kennedy to win the round on the judges’ scorecards. The fifth round was back to Kennedy, as Diaz’s shots failed to land with precision.

Round six was another definitive round in the fight. Diaz started the fight going to the body of Kennedy. Kennedy, however, dropped Diaz with a shot to the chin. Kennedy came right back at Diaz, and at the end of the round both fighters tangled and fell to the canvas. Diaz survived the seventh round, landing a few hard shots at the end of the round. Kennedy was using his jab to keep Diaz back in the eighth. With a hard right to the body, Kennedy buckled Diaz. The ninth and tenth were back and forth. In the eleventh, Kennedy was using wide hooks to the body, keeping Diaz moving back. The twelfth was back to a brawl. By the end, Diaz was doing a lot of holding to keep from being hit. Kennedy won by the judges’ scorecards: 115-111, 118-109, and 117-109.

Featherweight Camilo Perez knocked Desi Williams down twice in round one. The second knockdown ended the fight and came at the bell.

Super Bantamweight Miguel Cartajena won by unanimous decision over Omar Gonzales. Cartajena won all four rounds on all three judges’ scorecards.

Super Welterweight Glen Tapia won a hard fought fight against Eberto Medina. Tapia knocked Medina down in the third. Tapia won by unanimous decision: 59-54, 60-53, 60-52.

Heavyweight Tommy Zbikowski won by unanimous decision over Caleb Grummet. The first two round were dominated by Zbikowski, but Grummet was able to give Zbikowski trouble in the third and fourth. The judges’ scores were as follows: 39-36, 39-36, and 38-37.

Middleweight Rashad Brown defeated Darryl Parker. By the second round, Parker’s only defense seemed to be to hold Brown. Brown knocked Parker down in the second. Brown charged right back in at the third and knocked Parker down three times before the fight was stopped at 1:41.


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