It had been 42 years since there was a world title fight in Omaha, when Joe Frazier defended the heavyweight world championship against Omaha’s Ron Stander, winning by fifth-round knockout at the Civic Auditorium on May 25, 1972. On Saturday night, Terence Crawford, fighting in his hometown of Omaha, for the first time as a professional knocked out Yuriorkis Gamboa in the ninth round of a thrilling fight to retain his lightweight world title at the CenturyLink Center in front of 10,943 fans.
Crawford knocked down the former unified featherweight titleholder and 2004 Cuban Olympic gold medalist four times.
“I told Gamboa he picked the wrong fighter and the wrong city, and I was right,” Crawford said. “I never felt any danger in the fight.”
Gamboa said, “There were just two warriors in the ring trying to get the victory, and he won.”
Crawford knows what its like to fight a guy in his hometown. He was in Omaha a little more than three months after he went to Glasgow, Scotland, and beat hometown hero Ricky Burns to win a 135-pound title on a unanimous decision. Crawford wanted to make his first defense in his hometown.
According to CompuBox statistics, Crawford landed 146 of 348 punches (42 percent) and Gamboa connected on 82 of 345 (24 percent).