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Crawford has emerged as one of the sport's most promising young prospects in recent years. Last March, he took a major step forward in his career when he traveled to Scotland to take the WBO lightweight title from Ricky Burns via unanimous decision.
Going on the road to beat a popular champion in his hometown is never an easy order of business for a young fighter, and Burns had a history of benefiting from screwy judging decisions at home. "I think it showed a lot about me that I was willing to not care about what happened in the past and make it happen for me in the present, " Crawford told me, when I spoke to him earlier this week.
Burns was a tough, veteran champion, but Yuriorkis Gamboa is a different order of animal entirely. With blinding speed and explosive power, it was not very long ago that boxing fans were watching Gamboa with eager anticipation.
But a lack of activity has sent his stock tumbling in recent years. He's fought just twice since 2011.
When I spoke to him earlier this week, Gamboa acknowledged being from Cuba makes a fighter an outsider in the sport, with good promotional deals tougher to come by.
"They can't sell pay-per-view or host events in Cuba," he said, speaking through his translator and attorney, Tony Gonzalez. "The other big-name fighters are more protected."
Still, Gamboa has looked brilliant enough in the past to stick around in the memory, and boxing fans will be excited to see him back in action against another top, undefeated star. It's been a long time since there was a fight this significant at 135 pounds.