By Tom Donelson
Member Boxing Writers Association / contributed to “dmboxing.com” since 2008
On June 28, 2014 – HBO had a double header from Omaha with the first fight featuring Matt Korobov fighting Jose Uzcategui in a battle of undefeated Middleweights prospect looking for a possible title shot. In the first round, the first big punch came from Korobov straight left against Uzcategui. Korobov continued to follow through on his success with solid power punches but in the third round, Korobov started to slow down and looked fatigue even though he did land solid combinations throughout the third round.
Throughout the fourth round, Uzcategui landed more punches and started to put pressure on Korobov but in the middle of the fifth round, Uzcategui made a tactical mistake as he kept his hands low after a break and Korobov landed a big left followed by a right hand hook that shook Uzcategui. An accidental head butt open a cut over Korobov left eye and Uzcategui did manage land two big rights as the bell ranged.
The fight changed in the seventh round as Korobov sent Uzcategui down with straight left and right hook. Within twenty seconds, Korobov caught Uzcategui with a right hook then sent Uzcategui down a second time! Korobov kept the pressure on Uzcategui and landed some big punches to the body but Uzcategui survived the round.
Throughout the eighth and ninth round, Uzcategui managed to land some good rights and stay in the bout while Korobov countered with big body shots. Throughout the tenth round neither fighter could garner the upper hand but Korobov experience allowed him to escape any major damage as he went on to win the unanimous decision.
Terrace Crawford defended his lightweight division title against Yurikois Gamboa who came in this fight as an underdog despite being undefeated. Gamboa was considered one of the best pound for pound but management problems and some less than inspiring recent bouts had pundits viewing this as a must win bout.
The first round saw Gamboa hand speed dominate the first two minutes of the round before Crawford adjusted to the speed over the last thirty seconds. Gamboa speed continued to bother Crawford throughout the second and third round, forcing Crawford to go southpaw. Near the end of the fourth round, Crawford finally nailed Gamboa with three straight lefts that pushed Gamboa backwards for brief moments.
With a minute left in the fifth round, a Crawford right hand hook followed by a straight sent Gamboa down for an eight count and Gamboa barely survived the round as he took three more big right hands. Crawford continued to walk down Gamboa throughout the sixth round even though Gamboa showed heart to withstand Crawford blows. Going into the second half, Crawford took control of the bout and throughout the seventh round, Crawford continued to nail Gamboa with big shots as Gamboa punches were wild whereas in the beginning of the bout, they were accurate and sharp.
Near the end of the eighth round, Gamboa attacked and started to connect before he ran into a right hook that sent him down. Crawford finish the round with big body shots that hurt Gamboa. Crawford ability to switch from orthodox to southpaw allowed him to use his right hand to land accurate his power shots.
Gamboa landed a big right hand in middle of the ninth round that hurt Crawford and Gamboa continued to attack. With thirty seconds left, Gamboa attack was countered by yet another Crawford right sent Gamboa down. Gamboa got back up but his leg was rubbery and while Gamboa continued to advance, he simply put himself in position for another Crawford shot which came in the form of an upper cut. As Gamboa hit the canvas for the fourth time, the referee stopped the fight.
Gamboa speed hurt Crawford but Crawford kept his poise and being the naturally bigger fighter, Crawford size overcame Gamboa speed. Crawford showed himself to a potential star and Gamboa showed himself a fighter with heart. Gamboa is not at the end of his career but still has much left. As for Crawford, he is a potential star.