Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Daniel Ponce De Leon: Head to HeadWritten by Joseph Herron
Tonight on HBO at 10:30 EST, WBA Super Featherweight Champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (20-0, 16 KOs) faces off against Mexican tough man Daniel Ponce De Leon (41-3, 34 KOs) at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Both men are heavy hitters, so look for this fight to be explosive for as long, or as short as it lasts.
The phenom from Guantanamo, Cuba is quickly becoming one of boxing's hottest fighters and looked like a genuine force of nature when he destroyed seasoned veteran Jorge Solis in four exciting rounds on March 26th of this year.
Later this evening, Gamboa squares off against one of his toughest tests to date in Ponce De Leon as he attempts to stake his claim as a future star in the boxing universe.
Although the hard punching Mexican dropped a unanimous decision to Adrien Broner in his last outing, Ponce remains one of the more determined fighters in the sport.
Tale of the Tape
Yuriorkis Gamboa – The 29 year old Cuban hit machine is 5'5" with a 65" reach. He fights out of an orthodox stance and possesses power in both hands. His greatest asset is his natural athleticism. His opponents usually find Gamboa's speed to be overwhelming and impossible to time accurately.
The Cubano's primary punch is his left hook to the jaw. Despite being only 5' 5", Yuriorkis fights predominantly from the outside and lunges in and out with left hooks and straight right hands in combination. His moniker is "The Cyclone" for a reason. His speed is blinding and very difficult to deal with.
His chin has been questioned in the past, due to being too reckless against legitimate punchers. But, in his most recent fight against Jorge Solis, Gamboa showed the patience and punch selection of a mature fighter. If the Cuban missile plans on being victorious tonight, he will have to show that same level of maturity and patience.
Daniel Ponce De Leon – This 31 year old banger from Chihuahua, Mexico, has seen it all in the squared circle. He stands 5'5" with a 70" reach and fights out of the southpaw stance. He is one of the biggest natural featherweights you will see in the ring and is a very confident fighter.
Ponce is a brawler who shows no fear and very little respect for his opponents' abilities. He began his career with 21 straight knock outs and possesses great power in both hands. He has an iron chin, but can be stopped.
In June of 2008, the Mexican fighter was knocked out in shocking manner by Puerto Rican star Juan Manuel Lopez with a short and compact right hook to the jaw. Since that fight, Daniel has shown the patience and maturity to box. In his most recent fight with Adrien Broner, Ponce looked very patient and fought intelligently throughout the entire ten round bout.
Although he didn't walk away with the victory, he made a good showing for himself and displayed alternative wrinkles in his fight arsenal.
Keys to Victory
For Gamboa to be successful tonight in Atlantic City, he must attempt to use his shorter reach to his advantage and fight on the inside. Despite being a brawler, Ponce De Leon has most of his success when he keeps an opponent at arm's length. He has a lot of difficulty seeing punches landed on the inside and throws wide looping shots.
If Gamboa takes risks and jumps inside with precision and power shots, he could end this fight within the first few rounds. If he elects to box the Mexican brawler and stay on the outside, the Cuban defector could be in for a long night.
The Key to victory for Daniel Ponce De Leon is to throw the left hook often. Gamboa at times will have defensive lapses and keep his hands a little low. The Mexican brawler must earn his respect early in the fight and throw the left hook combination to the body and head. When Gamboa gets inside of Ponce's defense, he absolutely must tie his man up rather than trying to slug it out with his opponent.
He has to keep Gamboa on the end of his punches and use his footwork to box on the outside. If the Mexican fighter allows his much faster opponent to get inside of his wide looping shots, he could taste the canvas early and get stopped for the second time in his career.
Ponce must keep a high and tight defense without any mental lapses. If he can box while keeping his opponent on the outside for twelve rounds, maybe...just maybe, he can pull off a great upset.
Although Daniel Ponce De Leon is the underdog going into this fight, don't count him out. He has a great chin and a very strong mental resolve. But, speed kills in any sport, especially the sweet science.
If Gamboa sticks to his game plan and busts Ponce up with speed, he will easily win this fight. But, if the Cuban comes into the fight overlooking his tough opponent, he could be in for the shock of his life.
If feel that 2011 is indeed the year of the upset, but tonight will prove to be an exception. Gamboa's speed will simply be too much for the Mexican warrior. Ponce De Leon will get stopped in the third round in an exciting shoot out on HBO