June 28th, undefeated Yuriorkis Gamboa will challenge Terence Crawford, also undefeated, for the Nebraska native's WBO lightweight title. Gamboa (23-0, 16 KO) held both the WBA and IBF featherweight titles before being stripped of both in 2011. Since then he has gone 3-0.
Crawford lifted his title off of Scottish boxer Ricky Burns, and plans to make his first defense against Gamboa in his hometown. Crawford is favored to win the bout in most books, but the hype surrounding the highly-touted Gamboa seems to have him feeling defensive, as he took to Twitter to share the following sentiments.
Ima show the world #June 28th watch out— Terence Crawford (@budcrawford402) June 13, 2014
Rather inoffensive, but Gamboa, who has been known to showboat in his fights (sometimes to his detriment), felt Crawford's confidence merited a response.
Crawford was quick to retort.
@gamboa You talking about me taking a pic with yo metal put it up and let's see who walks away with both of them sents you that confident— Terence Crawford (@budcrawford402) June 18, 2014
One of the best things about social media is that it offers athletes a stage from which to utter whatever unflattering remarks that come to mind about their opposition. Boxing is at its best with a narrative, and "these fighters don't like each other" is about as easy a narrative as you could ask for. Selling fights has never been easier.
The downside of social media? The trash talk isn't nearly as--shall we say, eloquent as it once was. When Bob Fitzimmons fought "Gentleman" Jim Corbett for his heavyweight title, the two men took part in a legendary war of words.
"I have read where Corbett says that I am a tricky fighter," Fitz told the Salt Lake Herald in 1897. "Perhaps I am, but the best trick I know is landing my fists on the jaw just hard enough to knock men out."
Or how about the master himself, Muhammad Ali?
"If you even dream of beating me," Ali famously told George Foreman in 1974, "You'd better wake up and apologize."
Ah well. The trash talk flows more freely than ever before, and in some ways that's a good thing, but one can't help but lament the fact that, with the ability to take to Twitter and share their unedited thoughts without a second's hesitation, the age of great theater in boxing may be past.
The fight should be good, anyway.
UPDATE: The feud continues.
Fitzsimmons vs Corbett this ain't.