Yuriorkis “The Cyclone of Guantanamo” Gamboa (23-0, 16 KOs) firmly believes he is one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world and he plans to back that up this Saturday night against Terence Crawford (23-0, 16 KOs).
A four-time Cuban National amateur champion, Gamboa clearly has a decisive advantage over Crawford in terms of overall experience and quality of opposition fought. He had more than 250 amateur matches, highlighted by gold medal performances at the 2004 Olympics, 2006 World Cup and 2003 Pan-American Games.
After defecting in in 2006, the now Miami-based boxer-puncher has twice captured World featherweight titles, in addition to three Interim World championships in three different weight classes, from featherweight through lightweight.
The 32-year-old possessor of rare speed and power doesn’t listen to his critics. “I really don’t have anything to prove to anybody but myself,” he explained. “My goal has always been to be recognized as one of the best fighters in the world. I don’t have to prove anything and only need to make accomplishments for me and my family.”
While Gamboa has defeated three world champions and seven world title challengers in his last 10 fights, the gifted Crawford is relatively inexperienced in major fights with the exception of his last, in which he traveled this past March to Scotland and took the WBO 135-pound division title home to America, winning a 12-round unanimous decision over local favorite and defending champion Ricky Burns (26-2-1).
Gamboa is unfazed fighting in Crawford’s hometown, or by his skeptics, and he’s looking forward to showcasing his immense talent on HBO again. “I can’t speak for him but I’m going into this fight with the same approach,” Gamboa said. “I think it’s going to be more of a thinking game than physical. I need to spot his weaknesses and exploit them. Whether I stop or him, or it lasts 12 rounds, I expect my hand to be raised as the winner.”