This weekend is one of the biggest for boxing in a long time as there’s huge fights all over the world, one of the most under looked fights is oddly also likely to be the most exciting. Although the fights between Pongaklek Wonjongkam v Koki Kameda and Andre Dirrell v Arthur Abraham will be seen as more important it’s hard to ignore Yuriorkis Gamboa who faces Jonathan Victor Barros.
A meeting of 2 unbeaten fighters who are set to clash in Hamburg, Germany for the WBA Featherweight title. For some the fight is one they will avoid, feeling Barros will be an easy nights work for “El Ciclon de Guantánamo”, though is it one worth trying to see or not? Will Barros manage to test the exciting and swiftly destructive Gamboa?
Gamboa’s career so far as a professional fighter has been a short but swift one, needing only a handful of fights (15) to become a world champion and has made two defences, needing just six rounds in them combined. After his first 17 fights as a professional he has had just 61 rounds (an average of just over 3 a fight), though he is far more experienced than that (having been a top Cuban amateur for over a decade). Amazingly Gamboa’s career has seen him going into the 10th round 3 times, so if we take those 3 fights outs he’s had 31 rounds in 14 fights, impressive and awesomely destructive. With 15 stoppages in those 17 fights many are assuming he’ll make it 16 stoppages out of 18 contests, but what about his opponent?
Jonathan Victor Barros of Argentina is unbeaten in 29 (with 28 wins and 1 draw) with respectable looking power having scored 16KO’s. His career so far has been over twice as many rounds as Gamboa’s (136) but he’s taking a massive step up to world level here having previously only held a “Latino” belt at Featherweight. Barros is a bit of unknown quantity having only fought in Argentina and Uruguay though he’s so far fought a low level of opponent, the most well known of which would be Victor Hugo Paz who is no more than a journey man. It was against Paz in 2006 that Barros got the only black mark of his career, a draw.
Although he has improved since (having beaten Paz twice after the draw) his opponents haven’t been anything to write home about with the last five having a combined record of 60-37-9 (at the time Barros faced them all between 2009 and now). Sadly it’s this that will be the key in how this fight goes and it’s a shame that in his first fight in Europe Barros is going to go home in pain, the step up is just too much to cope with against an opponent as destructively fast and power as Gamboa.
Does Jonathan Victor Barros stand a chance against Yuriorkis Gamboa?
To be honest yes, but the chance is about the same as the chance of Gamboa breaking his leg after 10 seconds in the ring. It’s likely that Gamboa will take 2 or 3 rounds but control them with accurate and fast counter punches making Barros pay for the mistakes he’ll make. The fight will end without Barros landing a meaningful punch, and he stands no chance.
Much like Dmtri Salita when he met Amir Khan, Barros has had an awfully “artificial” record where he has managed to compile an unbeaten record feasting on easy opponents, when he meets a dangerous opponent, like Gamboa the 0 will almost always go. This is a case of a fighter being thrown to the wolves, and the wolves this time are the blows of Yuriorkis Gamboa who is nothing short deadly.