This coming Saturday night, June 28th Cuba’s Yuriorkis Gamboa takes on the USA’s Terence Crawford for his WBO Lightweight title at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Right now, Crawford, the hometown fighter, is favored at (-210) over Gamboa, who returns at (+175) according to 5Dimes SportsBook. Crawford has been a hot name in the Lightweight division since he defeated Britain’s Ricky Burns for the WBO Lightweight title. Burns was a champion who had defended the belt five times, and he was fighting on his home turf in England. Despite these advantages, Burns was only able to stay close early. Crawford implemented his game plan and enforced his will as the fight progressed. Prior to the win over Burns, Crawford had not fought the top breed of Lightweights, and the win in England took him to an undefeated 23-0 as a professional. He is the hot fighter right now, and going on the road in his last fight has earned him this title defense at home in Omaha. Crawford has faced a lot of adversity in his career and in his life, even surviving being shot in the head over a card game. He has put in the work with a decorated amateur career and his motivation to stay on type would appear to be channeled correctly. Fighting at home should be a plus if he is able to avoid some of the customary distractions. His opponent, Gamboa is also 23-0 and he is one fighter who could make claim to have endured a harder road than Crawford to get there. His amateur career includes an Olympic Gold Medal and can be considered a stronger amateur career than Crawford’s, and as a professional he has been facing the harder competition to get to 23-0. This is without getting into his upbringing in Cuba where he faced true poverty, his defection and start as a pro boxer in the United States. Crawford will have set advantages of height and reach, as Crawford has competed most of his life as a Lightweight, and as an amateur at 132 lbs, while Gamboa started out as a Light Flyweight who up until as little as two years ago was competing at Featherweight. He is confident enough in this attempt at a World Championship in a third weight class to assume a new nickname of ‘American Dream’. Crawford is counting on making his own dreams and coming from the mean streets of Omaha, those USA USA chants wont be for Gamboa.
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