Yuriorkis Gamboa returned to action on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez defeating the very game Michael Farenas in a fun fight.
All week we heard from 50 Cent and Bob Arum that Yuriorkis Gamboa and 50 would have an entrance that would "blow your socks off" when he fought Michael Farenas on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez. Instead of anything unexpected, the entrance was 50 being slowly lowered to the ring and rapping while Gamboa walked to the ring. As Larry Merchant said on the HBO broadcast, "that was quite an entrance...for a promoter."
In terms of the actual action, the second round of the fight saw Farenas landed a big shot which clearly hurt Gamboa, but Gamboa returned fire immediatley with shots to the head and body. By the end of the round Gamboa dropped Farenas to the canvas. Gamboa's attack continued to pick up in the third round, popping Farenas with hard power shots and drawing blood.
Farenas was game though. Throughout the fight he was looking to landing hard shots and hurt Gamboa. He may not have had the overall game to match him punch for punch, but he knew that he'd be able to reach and hurt Gamboa from time to time.
In round four it was Farenas getting in with hard left hands and forcing Gamboa to change how he was fighting. By round five it was Farenas dropping down to the body. It still appeared that Gamboa was winning the fight fairly comfortable, but Farenas deserved credit for coming to fight.
Round seven saw Gamboa come out with a vicious flurry that landed and eventually caused Farenas' glove to touch the canvas, resulting in a knockdown. Farenas was able to get up and even staggered Gamboa later in the round, but the fight was getting away from him to where only a knockout would earn him the victory.
Suddenly, in round nine Farenas landed a huge shot that dropped Gamboa. Gamboa got up but was on unsteady legs and every shot from Farenas seemed to affect him and force him to hold on. Gamboa survived the round, but it was a reminder about one of the big flaws in Gamboa's game. He's been known as a bit "chinny" in his career and this was not his first time getting knocked down.
Gamboa got back on track for the rest of the fight, never really getting in trouble again. But it was a rocky return from a long layoff for the Cuban star and one that probably will cause some to reassess his place in the sport.
For Farenas, he made a statement that he is able to hang with anyone in the sport while giving a spirited effort. He was able to take great shots from Gamboa and land his own power shots often enough to keep the fight exciting.
The judges saw the fight officially as 117-109, 118-108, 117-108 all to Gamboa.