In the boxing world, few people need a later replacement to bring about a better fight. However, this is exactly what happened when Yuri Orkis Gamboa’s injured rib forced him to withdraw from the fight with Chris Colbert. Now, Colbert is playing a compelling match with Tugstsogt Nyambayar at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on Saturday night (9pm EST, show time).
While “King Tug” is a great combination of rugged and skilled, having shown the former in his pro career and with an Olympic medal to prove the latter, he has been his own biggest opponent at times. Nyambayar has simply been too passive at times in his past three fights, even when giving Russell Jr. a legitimate fight in their world title clash. Those lulls in activity are opportunities that Colbert will take advantage of. Colbert is fast with good footwork and can fight with a slick style that could keep Nyambayar from doing what he does best — trapping an opponent and working hard to the body. Colbert also will enter with a significant size advantage, both in reach and weight, with Nyambayar making his debut at 130 pounds. Assuming both men fight to their standards of late, this should be a competitive fight with Colbert taking a unanimous decision victory. Pick: Chis Colbert via UD
Well, Colbert will look to take a step toward gaining that and growing his star power Saturday night, when he defends his WBA interim junior lightweight championship against rugged Mongolian contender Tugstsogt Nyambayar at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.
Boxing fans didn’t hesitate to point to the irony in Colbert’s brash talk throughout fight week, including the claim that Nyambayar looked fat during Thursday’s final pre-fight press conference.
Neither fighter looked anything close to out of shape, though it was Colbert who failed to make weight on his first try, actually weighing 130.6 pounds before removing his boxers in an attempt to make the divisional limit without having to do any extra work. Another 0.4 pounds were shed on the spot, leaving the 24-year-old to sweat out the last few ounces before reporting back with the California State Athletic Commission to officially make weight.
Colbert (15-0, 6KOs) will attempt the second defense of the WBA interim junior lightweight title he claimed in a 12-round win over former WBA “Super” champ Jezreel Corrales last January. He is coming off of an eleventh-round knockout of Jaime Arboleda in a sensational performance last November 28 on Showtime from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The lightweight eliminator is an interesting one, featuring the unbeaten Rivera taking on one-loss Fernández. The winner would seem to be in the mix for a shot at one of “Interim” champ Rolando Romero, “World” champ Gervonta Davis, or “Super” champ Teofimo Lopez. Boxing sanctioning bodies are entirely unpredictable, but I imagine the winner of Rivera-Fernández would get a shot at Romero if he wins his July 17th bout against Austin Dulay.