WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford proved too big and strong for the slighter Yuriorkis Gamboa as the American retained his title in superb fashion in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
‘Bud’ seemed to struggle initially with the speed of Gamboa in the earlier rounds, but once the Cuban began to engage there was only one winner as Crawford had a significant size advantage over the challenger.
Crawford, 26, put the former featherweight king down hard in the fifth, which was the turning point in the fight, and repeated the feat once in the eighth and twice in the ninth to force Gino Rodriguez to stop the contest.
Gamboa had his most significant success when catching Crawford in the previous round as the belt holder was in the midst of one of his many switches from orthodox to southpaw, but as he ploughed forward in an attempt to capitalize, ‘El Ciclon’ was continually getting caught.
The end was crushing when it happened towards the very end of round nine, with Gamboa still struggling with the first knockdown when Crawford caught him with a sweet uppercut to finish the argument.
In his post-fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman, Gamboa debated that he should have been allowed to continue, which could well have been the case with only seven seconds left in the session.
As it stands, Crawford gets the biggest win of his career, whilst Gamboa really should try and get back down to 130lbs as his slight frame will only result in more stoppage losses when he goes up against these bulkier operators at the lightweight limit.
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