By: Sean Crose
Atlanta’s State Farm Arena hosted a Premiere Boxing Champions card on Saturday featuring a scheduled 12 rounder between rising star Gervonta “Tank” Davis and skillful veteran Yuriorkis Gamboa. At stake was the WBA lightweight title. The first fight on the card was a scheduled 10 round affair between Lionell Thompson, 21-5, and the 29-3-0 Jose Uzcategui.Thompson was able to drop his man in the first. The second and third saw Thompson, who was the considerably shorter man, engage in a disciplined fight.The referee took a point away from Thompson in the fourth.
The fifth saw Uzcategui fight in a kind of ineffective lull. The sixth didn’t offer much in the way of excitement, though Thompson controlled the tempo. Uzcategui pursued his man in the seventh, as he had the entire fight up until that point, though perhaps more effectively than he had previously. Thompson landed hard and well in the eighth, though Uzcategui was somewhat impressive in the ninth. Thompson, however, appreared to take the tenth, as well as a unanimous decision win.
The next match was a WBA light heavyweight championship bout between defending champ Jean Pascal, 34-6-1, and the popular Badu Jack, 22-2-3. The first round was a rather entertaining affair, though Pascal may have edged it. Pascal went on to fire effectively in the second. Pascal’s jab worked well in the third, though Jack was able to land well on his man. Jack hurt his man in the fourth…but Pascal was able to drop Jack later in the round. Jack got up and was arguably saved by the bell.
Jack held strong in the fifth, but Pascal landed ferociously throughout. Jack arguably looked better in the seventh, while the eighth was close…and quite exciting. Both men traded well in the ninth. The tenth was.. again…a close affair. Jack pushed the action in the eleventh. The last round saw Jack send his man to the mat. Pascal got up and Jack unleashed thunder. Jack held on strong, denying Jack the knockout. Pascal ended up swinging hard at the bell.
Pascal walked out with a split decision win.
It was time for the main event. Tank Davis, 22-0, walked into the ring a rising star. Gamboa, 30-2, was seen as a talented, effective fighter who was nontheless past his prime, a man with something to prove. Davis’ highly impressive precision told the story in the first. Davis dropped Gamboa in the second. Gamboa got up, but his leg appeared hurt.
In the third, Showtime’s Paulie Malignaggi claimed Gamboa’s shoe was broken. Ironically, Gamboa had a better round. Davis did good work in the fourth. Davis then landed some explosive shots in the fifth…yet Gamboa didn’t get finished off. Needless to say, Davis dominated the sixth.
With his foot no longer appearing to bother him, Gamboa tried to put his punches together in the seventh. He may have won the round. Davis sent his man to the mat at the end of the eighth. Gamboa was able to beat the count. Gamboa then held his way through the ninth. Both men landed well in the tenth. Tellingly, Davis looked exhausted. Gamboa held in the eleventh, while Davis appeared gassed until the final seconds of the round.
Davis came out guns blazing in the 12th, and was able to drop his man once more. The referee stopped the fight.