37-year-old Miami based Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa meets former 3 time WBO Super-featherweight world champion Roman "Rocky" Martinez on the Gervonta Davis vs Ricardo Nunez undercard at the Royal Farms Arena, in Baltimore, Maryland on Saturday, July 27th. The fight is being broadcast by Premier Boxing Champions on the FOX network.
Gamboa was lucky to get the decision in his 10 round bout against former WBA Super-featherweight world champion Jason Sosa in Nov 2017. Sosa pressured Gamboa the entire 30 minutes of fighting and scored a knockdown in the 7th round. Gamboa has also docked a point for holding in the 10th and final round.
A year later, Gamboa scored a 1st round knockdown before going on to outpoint 2-time world Super-featherweight title challenger Miguel Beltran Jr over 10 rounds to record the 29th victory of his career.
Considering his advanced years, Gamboa continues to produce exciting displays of the silky skills that took him to world title success at both 130lbs and 135lbs earlier in his career, but has he the discipline to push himself in training? He looked tired in the last 3 rounds against the younger Sosa and as stated, he looked fortunate to get the decision to me.
Roman Martinez might be the perfect opponent for Gamboa. The 36-year-old Puerto Rican may have had three reigns as WBO champ but he has been inactive in recent times. Martinez was knocked out by P4P No1 Vasiliy Lomachenko in a challenge for the Ukrainian's WBO Super-featherweight crown in June 2016, announcing his retirement shortly afterwards. In March this year, "Rocky" made a comeback, stopping William Gonzalez (30-10-0) in the 8th round at home in Puerto Rico. With one fight in the last 3 years, how will Martinez fare against the talented Cuban?
Martinez has more punching power but can struggle with clever boxers, movers especially. If Martinez is in top shape and retains his desire then I think he can win but he will need to cut the ring down on the Cuban and force him to trade in the middle of the ring or preferably against the ropes.
Prediction: It will take the old "Rocky" Martinez to pull it off, but I believe he will win a close, maybe controversial decision win.