Undefeated ex-WBA and IBF featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa defeated heavy-handed former WBO super bantam titlist Daniel Ponce De Leon last night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ.
Delivering a toned-down cautious performance, likely out of respect to southpaw Ponce De Leon's punching power, former Cuban amateur star Gamboa nonetheless put on a display of precision boxing, hitting his opponent when he pleased while rarely getting caught with anything in return.
Gamboa nullified Ponce De Leon's offense on sheer reflexes alone; ducking, slipping or zipping in lightning fast counters whenever the Mexican came forward looking to do damage.
Gone from Gamboa's repertoire were the blizzard of devil-may-care combinations that he attacked opponents with in previous fights, replaced with a cool, measured approach that occasional erupted into lethal brilliance.
The new approach removed Gamboa's previous defensive liabilities, something that will come in handy as the Cuban moves up in weight and meets stronger adversaries.
By the mid-way point of the bout it was clear that Gamboa was in complete control and unless he got sloppy and caught with a big shot or decided to go all out against Ponce De Leon, the fight would likely go the distance.
In the eighth, Gamboa was strafing Ponce De Leon in a corner when an accidental head clash left the former super bantam champ with a wide vertical cut on the forehead, above his left eye.
After a medical examination, the bout was called off at 1:24 of the round with Gamboa judged to have won a technical decision.
Gamboa moves to 21-0 (16) in what is likely to be his last appearance as a featherweight. Ponce De Leon drops to 41-4 (34) having now lost two in a row, both world title fights.
Also on the bill were two contests of note as hammer-fisted super feather Luis Cruz, 19-0 (15), rubbed out 39 year old ex-two time world title challenger Antonio Davis, 28-7 (13), in the sixth while Australian based welter Wale Omotoso, 19-0 (17), made his American debut a good one, halting veteran Calvin Odom, 15-11 (11), in the fifth.