Gamboa’s and Lopez’ kayos put them on collision course
By Paul Strauss - Lot's of power exhibited at Madison Square Garden Theatre tonight. First, Ireland's John Duddy made short work of Juan Astorga with a kayo at 1:55 of the first round. Then Yuriorkis Gamboa looked like he was operating at a different speed altogether than anyone else in the theatre when he demonstrated he couldn't miss against Rogers Mtagwa. Then along came power punching JuanMa Lopez, who proceeded to punished Steven Luevano into a seventh round TKO
Article posted on 24.01.2010
The most impressive performance of the night was that of Yuriorkis Gamboa. Although he didn't knock Mtagwa out in the first round, it certainly looked like he good if he really wanted. The Tiger from Tanzania was game, and tried desperately, but every time he tried to throw a punch, especially his right, he would be eating Gamboa's hard left hook. The heavy hands of Gamboa were clearly evident when his left hook landed on the forehead of Mtagwa, but still put him down. That was in the first round. After scoring that knockdown, Gamboa seemed content with strolling around the ring a bit. It was almost like he wanted to Mtagwa to recover so he could get a little more work..
The second round was more of the same. Gamboa couldn't miss with the left hook, and just for good measure, he would throw in a few sharp right hands. The punch stats had Gamboa landing about 50% of his punches. It seemed more like ninety percent. He just couldn't miss. He certainly followed the old boxing adage that says, “Make him miss, make him pay.” It hurt to watch Mtagwa, as he was being totally outclassed, and repeatedly rocked with shots that would knock him stiff.
The second knockdown was the result of a beautiful five punch combination. Mtagwat had his left hand extended, and before he could pull it back, Gamboa landed the blistering combination. It looked fast even when replayed in slow motion. As a result, Mtagwa crumpled to the canvas. Steve Smoger advised Mtagwa that if he went down once more, he would have to stop the fight. To no one's surprise, down again he went and the fight was over at 2:35 of the second round. Gamboa established he is a hard act to follow, and on this night it was going to be JuanMa's job to try and do so.
JuanMa was also very impressive, but not spectacular like Gamboa. His win over Luevano was more of a beat down. Luevano was in the first couple of rounds, which were actually pretty close; although JuanMa was landing some pretty good body shots already in the second round. It was obvious Luevano just didn't have the fire power to deter JuanMa's attack. More and more as the minutes passed, it was evident that Luevano was physically breaking down. He just couldn't match JuanMa's speed, power or defense.
If Luevano tried to stay at long range, JuanMa would go over the top of Luevano's right jab with his long hard left. If Luevano failed to keep JuanMa at a distance, then he would get tagged with hooks and uppercuts. His face soon started showing the effects, with swelling around his left eye in particular. He also was bleeding from the nose.
Even when Luevano executed a good tactical move and would land a few punches, it was obvious his punches didn't carry enough zip on them to deter JuanMa from his attack. JuanMa also would physically manhandle Luevano, and push his head down, or walk him down and force him against the ropes.
By the third round, Luevano was waiting too much, and letting JuanMa get off his punishing combinations. JuanMa started throwing a greater variety of shots, and they were coming from different angles and all with power. As the fight progressed, JuanMa grew stronger and Luevano started to fade. JuanMa was winning each round more decisively now. He was dominating the action and keeping Luevano on his heels.
The end came at .44 seconds of the seventh. JuanMa started the coup de grace with a beautiful right uppercut. A hard right to the body followed; then a right to the head, and a missed left, followed by another hard right hook to the head.
Tonight showcased two exciting fighters, who now have a common opponent. Gamboa's total destruction overshadowed Lopez' tough contest with Mtagwa, but making weight might have been a factor, as Lopez contends. Regardless, a fight between these two exciting fighters will reward fans with lots of fireworks. Hopefully, the promoters start right away trying to make it happen.
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