Former featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa got up from a final-round knockdown to comfortably outpoint hard-nosed gatekeeper Rene Alvarado over 10 rounds in an HBO-televised co-feature to the David Lemieux-Curtis Stevens fight on Saturday in Verona, New York.
Gamboa (26-1, 17 knockouts), a 35-year-old Olympic gold medalist (2004 Games) from Cuba, won the lightweight bout by scores of 97-92 (twice) and 97-93.
Alvarado (24-8, 16 KOs), a 28-year-old grinder coming off a split-decision win over former featherweight title challenger Jayson Velez, just didn’t let his hands go enough to compete with the talented-but-technically vulnerable speed demon. However, he did momentarily stun Gamboa with a right hand in Round 7 and scored a flash knockdown early in Round 10 (due mostly because of the Cuban’s poor balance and foot placement).
The fight did not entertain but it did allow Gamboa, who hopes to be a force in the 130-pound division, to knock off a lot of ring rust. The once-explosive featherweight standout, who won interim titles at 130 and 135 pounds, had only fought twice since being stopped by former RING lightweight champ Terence Crawford in 2014, and not at all in 2016.
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