IBR on The Cruelest Sport

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“But jaws dropped in awe turned to yawns as Gamboa squandered much of his early success. Last year alone, Gamboa was linked to the Biogenesis PED scandal and charged with domestic violence for striking his wife. None of this would have mattered, mind you, had Gamboa delivered between the ropes, but it has been years since Gamboa did much of that. After bailing on a fight with Brandon Rios in 2012—a fight Gamboa specifically asked for—Gamboa fought just twice in the past two years, winning dull decisions against forgettable opposition that did little but raise red flags about his ability to excel above featherweight. Desperate to regain his lost momentum, Gamboa targeted Crawford, the latest protagonist in the Top Rank/HBO narrative. Crawford, a strapping switch-hitter with good speed and power was more than willing to oblige.”

Read Storm Chasing: Terence Crawford TKO9 Yuriorkis Gamboa on The Cruelest Sport.

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IBR on The Cruelest Sport

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“A fight for the boxing hipsters, Russell-Lomachenko pitted a fighter who had seen his once burgeoning popularity wane enough that it was again cool to like him against an underground sensation with “the look” but not the mainstream popularity (and the inevitable backlash that accompanies it). Whoever came out on top would be “on trend” if for no other reason than having proved his merits, the hipsters could say they had recognized them all along. But this was not a symposium on fixed-gear bikes or pretentious mustaches: Russell-Lomachenko was a genuinely intriguing fight, regardless of how little attention it garnered.”

Read Grand Designs: Vasyl Lomachenko W12 Gary Russell, Jr. on The Cruelest Sport

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IBR on The Cruelest Sport

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“Gary Russell, Jr., faces Vasyl Lomachenko in the opener of a Showtime triple-header from the StubHub Center in Carson, California, on Saturday night—and fittingly so. Not because Russell’s uninspired career is as gawk-worthy as a garage sale, or because Lomachenko has as many wins as fingers needed to flip someone off—although both are acceptable reasons for low billing. No, this matchup of unknown variables is an appropriate opener because it is a fight between two men who have jumped the line to Clipart title shots. Where better to slot it then, than first?”

Read Absence Versus Thin Air: Vasyl Lomachenko-Gary Russell, Jr. Preview on The Cruelest Sport.

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