Yuriorkis Gamboa and Miguel Garcia scores big wins
By Gabriel Montoya, from Maxboxing.com (March 27, 2011) Special to Doghouse Boxing
Two Top Rank fighters put their considerable skills on display and impressed in different fashions Saturday night in Atlantic City as part of an HBO doubleheader. Cuban featherweight sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa (20-0 with 16 KOS) absolutely destroyed Mexican journeyman and ex-champ Jorge Solis (40-3-2 with 29 KOs) in just four rounds, dropping him four times and knocking around the ring seemingly at will.

Coming in, the thought was that Solis was going to be a test that could take Gamboa rounds. After one round where he landed a good right hand on a leery Gamboa, that thought seemed correct. But apparently in that first stanza, Gamboa saw what he needed to and ripped into Solis to start the second. A right hand ripped into Solis and dropped him hard seemingly out of nowhere. He rose on shaky legs wondering if someone got the license plate of that truck. Gamboa jumped right on him and trapped him on the ropes, tearing at him with quick combinations that kept Solis wondering what to do next and where the next shot would come from.

Solis would drop again but this time it was a hard to see punch that appeared borderline rabbit punchesque. Still, while Solis rose and complained, referee David Fields counted to 8.

The third was more of the same much to the chagrin of Solis. He seemed underwater and confused as to how to swim, eating hard shots from Solis and countering air. Gamboa gifted two bodyshots to Solis’ belly and moved to the side, bouncing on his toes just out of range. Two rabbit shots got Gamboa a warning, a problem he offered all night to Solis whose legs looked old and rubbery by this point. Gamboa got in a hard right and left combination and then came back for more later in the round. Just before the bell, Gamboa caught Solis with a vicious left jab right uppercut/hook that floored him a third time. He got up glassy eyed and rubbery all over. Apparently his corner had been knocked down, too, because it took them forever to get his stool into the ring. Solis wandered to the far corner as is looking for it and then was summoned to sit down so the doctor could look at him.

Apparently he was fine because the doctor let him continue for the fourth but it was mop up duty at this point as Gamboa zeroed in for the finish. A hard right landed fopr Gamboa. Solis was game without a plan of attack. No jab, no answers of any kind for the speedy power of Gamboa who rocked his world with a one two that floored Solis again. Solis looked to his corner to say “I’m ok” but he clearly was not. He got up and was trapped in the corner once again and raked with shot after shot by Gamboa. Solis began to go down again and was hit by two rabbit punches. The referee waved the action off while ignoring the illegal blows. The time was 1:21 of the first.

In the co-feature, featherweight prospects Miguel “Mikey” Garcia (25-0 21 KOs) vs. Matt Remillard (23-1 with 13 KOs) put on a show as the two undefeated fighters got at each other in a scheduled for twelve rounds fight that felt at times more like a hard scrabble chess match.

Garcia took charge early, using his long jab and right hand but Remillard, a new signee to Top Rank, was game and well equipped to handle the incoming. This was a study in contrasts. While Garcia was slow and steady, investing in a variety of punches, Remillard used an extensive body attack throughout along with two styles to get at Garcia. At times, Remillard would brawl on the inside with Garcia, hiding behind his high shell guard. At other times as the toll of Garcia’s heavier shots got through, Remillard would box on his toes, using his long jab and quicker feet and hands to simply score points. Had he adopted this strategy more often, perhaps he would have won. He didn’t and so he didn’t.

The fight was nip and tuck for much of it with both men giving away and taking the momentum throughout. Every time one would take over, the other would adjust the next round or even mid-round. This was two young potential filled fighters desperately trying to keep their ‘0’ not with safety but with guile, skills and determination.

Things turned for the worse for Remillard in the ninth round hard and seemingly out of nowhere. However as Remillard rose, you could tell the physical toll was being taken by Garcia’s heavy, steady leather. Remillard showed heart as he fought his way back into the round but he was beginning to bend. Late in the round, Garcia dropped him again hard. Remillard once again got up and the bell mercifully ended the round.

Remillard went down again early in tenth off a slip but it was sign things had physically turned on him. More and more he stayed in his shell and let Garcia wail away. Garcia seemed emboldened by the weakened fighter he saw in front of him and pressed the attack more and more. Garcia trapped Remillard on the ropes and the ref looked hard. Another series of blows dropped Remillard hard again and for a moment it seemed it was over. But the brave young man stood again and made it out of the round.

Sadly for Remillard, the corner ended things right there. It was the right thing to do. The fight was heading towards either a brutal beating or a pure knockout. Remillard is young and can learn from this. No need to ruin him. Garcia got the TKO and showed that while movement and changes in tactics can deter him momentarily, he is hard man to beat and a tenacious, poised under fire fighter. With the win he picks up the NABF/NABO featherweight belt and moves up in the rankings. And the fans get yet another glimpse at two future stars of our sport.

You can email Gabriel at maxgmontoya@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gabriel_montoya and catch him on each Monday’s episode of “The Next Round” with Steve Kim or tune into hear him live on Thursdays at 5-8 PM PST when he co-hosts the BlogTalk radio show Leave-It-In-The-Ring.com. Gabriel is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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