Boxing: Morilla’s Sunday Report Card – Crawford Dominates Gamboa and More


Our resident boxing writer Diego Morilla serves up a full weekend wrap-up of the most relevant boxing events in the worldwide scene. Every fight that matters is right here, in one place, and at one click away. Follow Morilla on Twitter at @MorillaBoxing

Omaha, Nebraska, June 28th

Terence Crawford KO 9 Yuriorkis Gamboa, WBO lightweight title

It was a mix between homecoming, graduation, and coming-of-age for a titlist on his way to becoming a champion. Crawford (24-0, 17 KO) is as talented as they come, but he needed a definitive victory in a high-profile bout against a big-name opponent to establish himself in the game, and he had all that and more against previously unbeaten, three-division titlist and Olympic gold medalist Gamboa (23-1, 16 KO) in a fight that featured all the back-and-forth drama of a true world championship bout. The Cuban fighter grabbed the first few rounds, but after Crawford dropped him in round five to turn the tide everything went downhill for Gamboa, who never regained his footing and was also confounded by Crawford’s stance-switching ways. They both saved the best for last, though: in round 9, Gamboa managed to stagger Crawford with a solid combination, but the local hero turned the dangerous situation into a wake-up call and floored Gamboa twice in short succession to force the stoppage as the round was coming to an end. Huge win for a fighter that now becomes the man to beat in a division in desperate need of a solid, unified champion.

The winner goes on to: With this win, Crawford easily becomes the favorite in any unification bout in the 135 lb division

Matt Korobov UD 10 Jose Uzcategui, middleweights

Every time two unbeaten middleweights square off, you know there will be fireworks flying around. And this is what happened when former 2008 Olympian Korobov (24-0, 14 KO), from Russia, faced Uzcategui (22-1, 18 KO), a lanky yet powerful Venezuelan fighting out of Mexico. Uzcategui was the ineffective but constant aggressor, landing solid punches against a fighter who outlanded him and finally took the fight to him in the beginning of the second half of the bout, dropping Uzcategui twice in the seventh and cruising towards a decision with scorecards of 97-91 (twice) and 96-92.

The winner goes on to: Korobov had his ups and downs, but in the new, wide-open 160 lb division anything can happen, and it is his time to finally step up his game and get in the mix with the big boys.

Mikael Zewski KO 4 Prince Doku Jr., welterweights

Big victory for a top welterweight trying to get to the next level. Zewski (24-0, 19 KO) got off to a great start, taking the fight to Doku Jr (18-6, 12 KO) and dishing out some serious punishment before finally sending him down for the count at the beginning of the fourth round.

Epazoyucan, Mexico, June 28th

Oswaldo Novoa TKO 9 Alcides Martinez, WBC strawweight title

Novoa (14-4-1, 9 KO) had the mission to show his countrymen that his dethroning of Xiong Zhao Zhong in China last February was no fluke, and he achieved that goal with a solid 9th TKO against a soft touch in Martinez (12-3, 6 KOs) in his first defense.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, June 28th

Darleys Perez UD 12 Argenis Lopez, WBA interim lightweight title

Mild upset during a post-WBA convention, almost-all-Dominican card. Perez (30-1, 19 KO) had failed in his first title bout against Yuriorkis Gamboa one year ago, but this time he knew what adjustments he needed to make in order to achieve his dream. Pressing the action since the beginning, in spite of the heat and his condition of visiting fighter, Perez accumulated enough points during the first half of the bout to feel comfortable going down the last stretch, and when Lopez (19-1, 7 KO) began to show his lack of condition in the championship rounds, all Perez had to do was move in for the kill, and he did. In the end, Perez managed to pull the upset with scorecards of 117.5-111 (yes, the half-point is also valid here) and 116.5-112 (twice). Big win for Perez, a talented fighter who deserves tougher challenges looking ahead.

Oklahoma City, June 28th

Shannon Briggs UD 12 Raphael Zumbano Love, heavyweights

“The Cannon” roars again! Well, not quite, but still. Briggs (55-6-1, 48 KO), a former WBO heavyweight champion currently on the comeback trail, is now 4-0 since his loss against Vitali Klitschko in 2010 in his last major bout, but his first three victories never took him past the first round, as he picked some awful opponents to launch the second part of his career. This time, at least, he was taken the full 12 rounds against Love (34-8-1, 27 KO), a limited but tough journeyman from Brazil now living in Nevada, who visited the canvas twice during the bout. The fight was not pretty, but at least Briggs got a W and a workout out of it.

The winner goes on to: Even though it is not enough to warrant a new title shot, this victory should encourage Briggs to take the next step in his comeback, possibly against a more interesting opponent.

Glasgow, Scotland, June 27th

Dejan Zlaticanin UD 12 Ricky Burns, lightweights

Quite possibly, the curtain call for a popular champ. Zlaticanin (19-0, 13 KO) was not supposed to be a major roadblock for former multi-division world champion Burns (36-4-1, 11 KO) in his comeback trail with a new title bout in mind, but his southpaw opponent managed to keep his unbeaten record intact with a superb performance that included a knockdown right out of the gates and a solid beatdown throughout the rest of the proceedings, capped by two scorecards of 115-113 for Zlaticanin and another one with the same figures for Burns.

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Diego Morilla
Diego Morilla is a boxing writer since 1992. His work has been extensively featured in some of the most prestigious boxing media outlets in Latin America and the U.S., including, The Ring, Latino Boxing,, Lo Mejor del Boxeo,, HBO Sports and newspapers such as El Mundo, Primera Hora and El Vocero, among others.