Yuriorkis Gamboa in his prime was a very good fighter who was seen as the best in his division at least at featherweight. He moved up in weight to super feather where he picked up an interim title but didn’t make much of a splash in the division. Up to this point his career was on a perfect trajectory upwards with only minor blips of being knocked down and not getting to fight Juan Manuel Lopez after the fight was built up for so long. The turning point in his career was deciding to move up to Lightweight and fight Terence Crawford. While it’s admirable to challenge yourself and he certainly did that by taking the Crawford fight its also a quick way to derail your career needlessly. After he got stopped by Crawford he struggled in fights he shouldn’t and got stopped by Robinson Castellanos thus ending the idea of him still being an elite fighter.
He’s carried on for a few years picking up wins over other past their best fighters while waiting for the sharks to stop circling and finally tear him and the remnants of his career apart. On December 28th of 2019 Gervonta Davis obliged him by knocking him down multiple times and eventually stopping him in was both seen as a mismatch before the fight and after. He’d finally got to the point where his name value was seen as worth the risk because the reality is that he’s an old fighter who probably should have retired a few years ago but still fights on in search of past glory which hes since lost. After the Davis fight most felt he would retire and having a fitting end to a long career by losing to an up and coming star who he performed as well as he could against especially considering he ruptured his Achilles in the second round. One last performance from an old warrior would have been a nice send off but in typical boxing fashion he’s now being used as a stepping stone for young fighters. Next in line was Devin Haney who won every round but looked silly in not being able to even drop Gamboa who has been known for going down in his career. Finally comes the reason i’m writing this and why Gamboa is a good example of how the boxing industry uses up fighters until theirs nothing left and then repeats it again and again. Gamboa hasn’t won a fight in almost two years and has lost 24 rounds in a row in uncompetitive fights yet is still being used as a headliner versus Chris Colbert. Gamboa is now at the stage of his career where hes brought in to lose and isn’t expected to even win rounds but to simply give some of his lingering name value to whatever new fighter the promoter’s are trying to push. This isn’t a new thing in boxing but it’s still sad too see former world champions effectively become glorified journeymen at the end of their careers to prop up young fighters who really should be fighting their peers instead of old timers who should no longer be in the ring.
I would hope that after this fight Gamboa finally calls it a career as it’s a shame too see part of his legacy become being a measuring stick for the next generation. While it would be out of character I also think the boxing promoters could find their morals and stop booking Gamboa in fights he has little chance of winning simply because he used to be a world champion and buzzed Terence Crawford once.