Yuriorkis Gamboa and Brandon Rios were winners on HBO Boxing After Dark, and Erik Morales overcame a rocky start to knock out Willie Limond in Mexico, highlighting a busy Saturday night in boxing.
Gamboa (19-0, 15 KO) topped Orlando Salido (34-11-2, 22 KO) on unanimous decision scores of 116-109, 115-109, and 114-109, adding the IBF featherweight title to his WBA featherweight belt. It wasn't the greatest performance of Gamboa's budding career, but it was definitely the toughest fighter he's faced to date, and when Gamboa let his hands go, he was able to dominate Salido.
Unfortunately, Gamboa's habits of laying back more than most might want or expect of him at this point probably didn't impress too many tonight. He was clearly more talented and just better than Salido, a tough guy and a good fighter, but one with limits that Gamboa doesn't have. Salido spent much of the fight stalking and trying to apply pressure, generally to little or no avail, but occasionally finding success. He knocked Gamboa down on a flash knockdown in the eighth round, but was floored himself twice in the 12th. On the second knockdown of the final frame, Gamboa hit Salido while he was down, and Joe Cortez took two points away, giving Gamboa the odd points totals for the victory.
Gamboa may fight the winner of Juan Manuel Lopez-Rafael Marquez next, but I'm at the point where I don't really expect that until late next year. Lopez or Marquez may be just what Gamboa needs to maximize his potential, though. There were times tonight where he looked bored in there, and that has happened in past fights, too. We'll see.
In the co-feature, Anthony Peterson dominated the first round with his jab against Brandon Rios, but then decided to abandon that and try to mix it up in a dogfight with Rios, which was all wrong for him. Rios (25-0-1, 18 KO) floored Peterson (30-1, 20 KO) with a left hand at the end of the fifth round. In the sixth, a desperate Peterson landed several low blows, losing two points in the process. At one point, he threw a three-punch low blow combination. At the tail end of the seventh round, Peterson went low again and was disqualified.
It was a disappointing end to what had been a very compelling, very action-packed fight. Rios had bent Peterson to his will, and most are going to say that Peterson was looking for a way out. I don't know for sure that that was the case, but that many low blows certainly lends validity to the thought.
In Mexico on Integrated Sports PPV, Erik Morales notched his 50th win (50-6, 35 KO) by knocking out Scotsman Willie Limond (33-3, 8 KO) with body shots in the sixth round. The aged and faded Morales reportedly did not look good early in the fight, but tore through Limond with his body work, knocking him down three times in what turned out to be the final round. Plans before this fight seemed to be to match Morales next with fellow Mexican star and reigning lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez. Hopefully, Richard Schaefer and Golden Boy re-examine that idea. Morales is clearly not that class of fighter anymore.