Gamboa’s Frustrating Foot Fiasco
Long before Yuriorkis “El Ciclon de Guantanamo” Gamboa (30-3, 18 KO’s) slid through the ropes to fight on December 28, he was written off. As the story went, the former world champion was old, had a weak beard and had lost more than a couple steps.
Meanwhile, his opponent, Gervonta “Tank” Davis (23-0, 22 KO’s), was being given the red carpet treatment in every sense of the word. The event itself was openly treated as Tank’s official Atlanta coming out party. El Ciclon was there to play the role of sacrificial lamb. Trouble was, once the two boxers were in the ring, Gamboa did not read from the same script as everyone else.
BUCKING THE ODDS
Gamboa first began mystifying his detractors by displaying the sturdiest chin that he has ever brought to the ring. It’s a well-known fact that Davis can crack and he wasted little time finding the Cuban’s whiskers. In fact, Tank struck, punched and cleanly clobbered Gamboa’s jawbone all night long. To the disbelief of many, Gamboa managed to absorb most of the heavy shots.
Sure, Gamboa was shook and wobbled enough, but it proved to be quite the task to get the Cuban off his feet. Oddly enough, it was actually one of Gamboa’s wheels that caused him the most issue. During an exchange in the second round, El Ciclon did go down and got up complaining about his foot. Initially, it was a mystery as to what was going on.
FEET OF FIRE
Clearly, there was something amiss with the way that Gamboa was moving and performing. Some thought he was hurt, others believed that he was looking for a way out and the commentators on air theorized that it was a damaged shoe. Ultimately, it appears to have been a injured Achilles heel.
“From the second round I had no support. I was literally fighting on one leg…the Achilles tendon broke.”
The untimely injury puts one in the mind of Luis Arias v Daniel Jacobs, or David Haye versus Wladimir Klitschko and Tony Bellew. Although not a foot ailment, earlier on the card, Darwin Price had to retire on the stool after seriously damaging his knee.
When Gamboa initially suffered the damage, he appeared to want out of the fight. He said a number of times he was hurt and couldn’t continue. Unfortunately for him, neither his corner nor referee Jack Reiss gave a damn! Following his instructions in between rounds, they sent him right back out to battle. To his credit, Gamboa fought bravely given his very impaired situation.
Finally, in the twelfth, Tank was able to find the knockout that folks thought could happen in the first. Although, even in defeat, Gamboa earned a few more stripes and probably secured at least one more major fight.
By: Bakari Simpson