PRIMM — Yuriorkis Gamboa is considering making Las Vegas his permanent home. If he can count on the kind of support he had Friday at the Star of the Desert Arena, it’ll be an easy decision for him to move from Miami.
Gamboa, a featherweight who won a gold medal for Cuba in the 2004 Olympics, was cheered on by more than 4,000 of his countrymen as he scored a 10th-round technical-knockout victory over Roger Gonzalez.
“This was a good test for me,” Gamboa said through an interpreter. “I wanted to show that I could fight inside and outside and take my time. It gave me confidence that I didn’t have to rush and still get a knockout.”
Gamboa (13-0) jumped out to his usual quick start, taking it to Gonzalez (27-3). But in the second round, Gamboa got a bit careless, dropping his left hand, and was tagged by a glancing right hand and stumbled to one knee.
It was a flash knockdown, and he wasn’t hurt. But it’s the third time in Gamboa’s last four fights that he has received a standing eight count.
“He got me off-balance,” Gamboa said. “It was the only time in the fight that he really hit me. But I wasn’t hurt or anything. It was a clean shot, though.”
He came back firing, peppering Gonzalez with lefts and rights. But Gonzalez hung tough, shaking his head whenever Gamboa unleashed a barrage.
“I went in expecting the kick of a mule,” Gonzalez said of Gamboa’s punching power. “He didn’t hit that hard. I’ve been hit a lot harder.”
It wasn’t until late in the fight that Gamboa finally had Gonzalez in real trouble.
Gamboa backed him up on the ropes early in the 10th round, firing away as Gonzalez tried to repel the attack.
He got a breather momentarily, but Gamboa landed a straight right hand to the side of Gonzalez’s head, once again got him on the ropes and was unleashing a flurry of blows when referee Robert Byrd stepped in to stop the fight.
Byrd called it off with 48 seconds remaining.
On the undercard, Erislandy Lara made an impressive U.S. debut. The Cuban junior middleweight knocked out Las Vegan Rodrigo Aguilar with one second left in the first round of their scheduled four-round bout.
Cuban Odlanier Solis also had a successful U.S. debut. Solis scored an eighth-round TKO win over Kevin Burnett in their heavyweight bout.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913.