Gamboa sticks to business in TKO

PRIMM — Yuriorkis Gamboa needed only 15 fights to win a world championship. It doesn’t figure to be his last belt.

The unbeaten Gamboa dominated Jose Rojas, scoring a 10th-round technical knockout Friday to win the WBA interim featherweight belt in front of about 4,600 fans at Star of the Desert Arena, virtually all of them pulling for Gamboa.

“I’m very pleased with my performance,” the Cuban said through an interpreter. “I was able to box him and use my skills and my speed. I’m very happy.”

Gamboa had no problem solving Rojas, a tall, slender 37-year-old southpaw from Venezuela with a 25-7-1 record. Gamboa, 27, constantly attacked, trying to make it a quick night.

To Rojas’ credit, he stayed upright for most of the fight, but he was badly battered by the 10th round.

Unlike some of Gamboa’s previous Primm appearances in which he got careless and suffered flash knockdowns, he stuck to his business. His defense has improved, thanks to trainer Ismael Salas.

“I’ve been working very hard on my defense,” Gamboa said. “I knew he was a rough guy, but he never really hit me with a clean shot.”

Rojas was knocked down in the fifth round and nearly went down in each of the next three. By the 10th, he was in no shape to stage a miracle comeback, and referee Russell Mora stepped in at the 1:31 mark.

Gamboa said he would like to face WBA champ Chris John, but he isn’t picky.

“We’ll fight anyone,” manager Luis De Cubas said.

On the undercard, Selcuk Aydin (18-0) won a 12-round split decision over Said Ouali in a WBC welterweight eliminator bout. It was a nasty and contentious fight, and Aydin’s uppercut was the difference.

When Ouali (25-3) was able to steer the fight to the middle of the ring, he jabbed effectively and controlled the action. But he spent too much time on the ropes.

Adalaide Byrd scored the fight 114-113 for Ouali, Robert Hoyle had Aydin in front 115-112, and Jerry Roth scored it 116-111 for Aydin.

In a battle of unbeaten Las Vegas welterweights, Jesse Vargas (5-0) earned a six-round unanimous decision over Anthony Lenk (5-1), scoring knockdowns in the first and sixth rounds.

Sharif Bogere’s lightweight fight was postponed because opponent Justo Vallecillo was unable to fly to Las Vegas. He was not allowed to board a flight from San Antonio because of an expired driver’s license.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@ reviewjournal.com or (702) 387-2913.

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