It is now known that Yuriorkis Gamboa is destined to be a premiere champion after successfully defending his IBF and WBA World Featherweight championships with a fourth round knockout over Jorge Solis Saturday evening at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City .
And in the ring after it was over the inevitable question was asked to WBO champion Juan Manuel Lopez. Will the fight happen between two of the superior fighters in the division? “We never said no, I never said no,” commented Lopez. “We are the best in the division. We have to do it.”
Now it is up to Top Rank and promoter Bob Arum, but first Lopez has another agenda with a title defense against Orlando Salido on April 16th. HBO would love to televise the fight that would determine who the best featherweight is however, according to the Gamboa camp it is in the hands of Arum and negotiating a price with the network.
Lopez did add his emphasis is on Salido, and after that the fight could take place.” Once again Gamboa (20-0, 16 KO’s) was dominant using his quick punching to victory. The four-time Cuban national champion and 2004 Olympic medalist dropped the Mexican Solis (40-3-2, 29 KO’s) five times in four rounds.
Photo: Pablo Santiago
Solis went down twice in the second round, once in round three and two times in the fourth round when the fight was stopped. He said about his hand speed, “I always had good reflexes and speed as a kid. The hand speed overwhelmed him,” he added about his domination over Solis.
The 31 year-old Solis, a 13 year pro and WBA super featherweight champion got the first loss on his record when Manny Pacquiao knocked him out back in 2007, in the eighth round when Pacquiao was a super flyweight.
“He’s a great fighter and he hits hard compared to Pacquiao,” commented Solis about Gamboa’s power. He added, “Pacquiao does not hit that hard. He throws a lot of punches put doesn’t hit that hard.”
Now the waiting game begins in what could be a mega fight that boxing fans anticipate.
In the first of three title fights on the Top Rank card, Teon Kennedy (16-0-1) of Philadelphia successfully defended his USBA Super bantamweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Jorge Diaz (15-1, 9Ko’s) of New Brunswick New Jersey.
Diaz went down briefly in the sixth round when Kennedy connected with a right to the chin. Two judges had the fight 118-109 and 117-109 for Kennedy, though a third had it 115-111 which seemed more realistic to those at press row.
Also Miguel Angel Garcia (25-0, 21 KO’s) defended the NABF-NABO Featherweight title using the knockdown late in the scheduled 12-round fight stopping the previously unbeaten Matt Remillard (23-0, 13 KO’s) of Manchester Connecticut by TKO. Referee Ricardo Rivera put a stop to the contest at the end of round 10 on the advice of Remillard’s corner.
Tommy Zbikowski, former Chicago Golden Gloves finalist and one-time football captain of the Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” has apparently found a new career. The safety with the NFL Baltimore Ravens kept his undefeated streak alive as a heavyweight at 3-0. He won a four-round unanimous decision over Caleb Grummet who made his professional debut. He was deducted a point in the third round for a low blow.
The fight was billed the NFL versus the MMA. Grummet is an accomplished fighter in mixed martial arts competition and at one point briefly gave Zbikowski trouble in the second round and it was the toughest fight to date for Zbikowski.
It was the second fight in three weeks for Zbikowski who will keep fighting for now, that is until the players and owners come to an agreement with the ongoing NFL lockout.
“He hit me hard,” commented Zbikowski about the body shots. Once again he had trainer Emanuel Steward in his corner. “Everyone thinks boxing is easy,” said Steward pointing to perhaps how football and boxing can be equal in training and perhaps how boxing can be tougher.
Added Steward: “It isn’t an easy sport and thank goodness it wasn’t a six—round fight. Nevertheless Zbikowski intends to get in the ring again soon and Steward is expected to remain as his trainer in the progression of Zbikowski as a professional heavyweight.
Also on the undercard, Glen Tapia, the talent super welterweight from Passaic New Jersey remained undefeated at 7-0 by taking a six-round unanimous decision over Eberto Media (5-6-1,1KO) of Newark Pennsylvania.