Daniel Ponce De Leon's Chances Against Hard-Hitting Yuriorkis Gamboa

Jess Matthew BeltranCorrespondent IIJuly 31, 2011

LAS VEGAS - JULY 15:  Daniel Ponce De Leon raises his arms after knocking out Sod Looknongyangtoy 52 seconds into the first round of their WBO junior featherweight world championship fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 15, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Daniel Ponce de Leon would only close his eyes and remember his four brothers and everything seem to be fine. All of those tiring workouts and failures seemed to be a distant memory in an instant.

It wasn’t a happy thought, but it was something that keeps him going.

Growing up in the Sierra Madre Occidental, a mountain range located in western Mexico, life had been so hard for his tribe and family. Out of five brothers, Daniel was the only survivor because of poverty and rigid conditions.

In such an early age, Daniel had been exposed about hardship and how life can be so unfair. However, it leaves him one value and one good trait—the will to survive.

This September 10 will be one of his toughest battles on his boxing career and one of the steepest mountains he ever could climb. He will be up against the hard-hitting Cuban, Yuriorkis Gamboa.

 Gamboa is an undefeated champion who had 20 wins with only four that went the distance.

Daniel knows there is only one fighter, he could benchmark himself into, and that is Juan Manuel Lopez. However, it wasn’t a competitive fight—de Leon got knocked by Juanma with just seconds on the start of the first round.

Juanma recently suffered his first lone defeat against Orlando Salido via TKO on the eight round…right in front of his hometown crowd in Puerto Rico. It was also Salido that Gamboa fought and won a unanimous decision last year. Much can be said to how Yuriorkis also handled Rogers Mtagwa in just two rounds while Lopez struggled for twelve full rounds.

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - MARCH 26: Yuriorkis Gamboa leans against the ropes before his IBF WBA World Featherweight title bout against Jorge Solis of Mexico during Top Rank's 'Featherweight Fury' on March 26, 2011 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
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In short, Gamboa is a dangerous fighter and he can bulldoze his way against Ponce just like what Juanma Lopez had done.

However, Daniel knows that it would never happen. Nobody is going to have a free pass. This time he will be ready.

Like any Mexican warrior, he is willing to die in the ring.

It is still boxing. As long as you got your gloves on, there’s always a chance to win. However, it is also a game. There would always be winners and losers. Daniel doesn’t mind losing; he just wanted to be graceful in defeat. If he goes down, he wants to go down swinging.

Daniel Ponce de Leon will just close his eyes, and everything seemed to be back to normal. All those aching muscles and tiring workout doesn’t matter. This is going to be war, and he will definitely be ready. He got his brothers deep inside his heart…that’s what makes him a better person. That's what made him move forward. As long as his heart is still beating there is still a chance.

 And he had been living with that chance for all his life.