Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gamboa destroys Solis in Atlantic City

By John McMullen

Atlantic City (The Phanatic Magazine) - Rising featherweight star Yuriorkis Gamboa kept his IBF and WBA featherweight crown by dominating veteran Jorge Solis in the main event of HBO's "Boxing After Dark" show in front of a sellout crowd of 2,700 at the Adrian Phillips Ballroom in Boardwalk Hall.

Gamboa (20-0, 16 KOs), born in Guantanamo and now living in Miami, sent the 13-year pro Solis (40-3-2-1) to the canvas twice in the second round as he impressed with his incredible quickness and strong athleticism.

Gamboa floored Solis again with a dazzling combination at the end of the third round and turned the trick for a fourth time with a brutal right cross in Round 4 before finally finishing things at 1:31 of the frame with a quick
flurry of hands reminiscent of Sugar Ray Leonard in his prime.

"When you see Gamboa fight, you see incredible natural ability that is very Roy Jones-esque," said Todd duBoef, president of his promoter, Top Rank. "He has speed and power in both hands that are not seen too often in this sport. What he needs now is the ring experience."

It was the first defense of the crown for the 29-year-old Gamboa, who won the vacant IBF laurels with a unanimous 12-round defeat of former title claimant Orlando Salido on Sept. 11 in Las Vegas.

Solis, meanwhile, was best known for his last fight in the United States, where he fell in eight competitive rounds to subsequent pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao in San Antonio. He had seven of eight fights since, all in Mexico.

WBO featherweight king Juan Manuel Lopez could be next on the docket for the impressive Gamboa if he defends is crown on April 16 in Puerto Rico. However, as always in boxing, politics could get in the way..

"In reality I don't feel rushed to make that fight," Gamboa said. "By the same token, there has been so much talk about me facing Juan Manuel Lopez and it hasn't come to fruition. I don't feel there is a need for so much talk if the fight isn't going to happen. I want it to happen and I hope it happens but I don't want to talk about something that won't come through."

In the semifinal also televised on HBO Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia stayed undefeated and took Matt Remillard's NABF and NABO featherweight titles in the process. Remillard (23-1) couldn't outbox the California native and didn't have the power to threaten him in a lackluster bout that threatened to lose
the interest of the fans.

Garcia (25-0, 21 KOs) really took control in a dominant ninth round, sending the overmatched Remillard to the canvas on two occasions. A third knockdown in the 10th was waved off as a push before Garcia floored him again with a right cross. A game Remillard lasted until the end of the round but couldn't answer
the bell for the 11th.

The CompuBox numbers told the tale of Garcia's domination. The new champ threw 943 punches, including 490 power punches compared to just 514 and 194 for Remillard.

On the undercard in a battle of undefeated fighters the game Jorge Diaz won over the crowd but not the judges, losing a unanimous decision to Philly native Teon Kennedy in a USBA super bantamweight championship bout. Kennedy (17-0-1, 7 KOs) knocked down Diaz (15-1), who fights out of New Brunswick, in the sixth round and did deserve the win thanks to a punishing body attack but
the scorecards, 115-11, 118-109 and 117-109, but probably a little too one-sided.

Baltimore Ravens safety Tommy Zbikowski (3-0, 2 KOs), a suburban Chicago heavyweight that was a star football player at Notre Dame, took a hard-fought majority decision over former cage fighter Caleb Grummet (0-1-1) in a four-rounder. Zbikowski, who also fought at UND, has turned back to the fight game during the NFL lockout.

In other bouts Puerto Rican featherweight Camilo Perez (2-0, 2 KOs) kicked things off in impressive fashion by dropping Desi Williams (0-2) in the first round.

Philly super bantamweight Miguel Cartejena then had a successful professional debut beating San Antonio journeyman Omar Gonzales by unanimous decision. In fact, Cartejena shut out Gonzales (2-6) on all three scorecards, 40-36.

Meanwhile, Passaic, NJ super welterweight Glen Tapia (9-0, 5 KOs) stayed unbeaten by taking a unanimous decision over Eberto Medina (5-6).

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