STORY OF PHILIPPINE BOXING PART XXXVI: JOMA GAMBOA, WBA MINIMUMWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION
By Maloney L. Samaco
Thu, 14 May 2020
Jomarie "Joma" Gamboa was born on April 25, 1973 in Bacolod City. The orthodox fighter turned pro on March 27, 1993 and made sudden impact when he knocked out Paul Abao in the first round.
He went on to snatch eight more straight wins against Teddy Pulido by 1st round TKO, Nelson Nelmida by 2nd round TKO, Mike Luna by 2nd round KO, Yen Jauculan by 2nd round TKO, Nikki Maca by 5th round TKO, Dodie Boy Acabo by 1st round KO, Ric Magramo by UD and Chris Galon by 2nd round KO.
Only future Philippine light flyweight champion and world title challenger Ric Magramo escaped from his powerful knockout punches with a unanimous decision.
Gamboa then vied for the vacant Philippine minimumweight title and defeated future WBF intercontinental light flyweight champion Rudy Idanio by a 12-round unanimous decision on April 9, 1994.
He stopped his first foreign opponent Thai fighter Aswin Sithlakmuang in the very first round on May 7, 1994.
Gamboa lost his Philippine title to Jerry Pahayahay by 9th round TKO. But took it back from him four months later in a rematch by unanimous decision.
He stopped South Korean Chul-Woo Lee by 6th round KO in Tokyo, Japan. He also annihilated Juhardi Juhardi by 1st round KO and defeated Leo Ramirez by UD.
Gamboa defended his Philippine GAB title one more time with a stoppage of Teddy Pulido in the 3rd round on June 24, 1995.
He lost in his first attempt at the world title to Thai fighter Saman Sorjaturong for the World Boxing Council light flyweight championhip in Maha Sarakham, Thailand on April 27, 1996.
Gamboa was floored twice in the 6th round before the fight was stopped in Round 7 when the Thai was ahead in all three scorecards.
Moving on from the world title defeat, he chalked up wins against Jun Orhaliza by 8th round TKO, Toru Shimabukuro of Japan by UD, Chaweng Sangklam of Thailand by 2nd round KO,
Woo-Hee Jang of South Korea by 3rd round TKO,
and Jerry Pahayahay in their third match by 5th round TKO.
He defeated Carlos Murillo of Panama by 1st round TKO for the World Boxing Association Fedelatin light flyweight title in Caracas, Venezuela on September 27, 1997.
Then Gamboa won over Ryo Kurushima of Japan by 9th round TKO, Ramil Gevero by 6th round TKO, and Rudy Idanio in a rematch by UD.
He lost in another world title attempt to Sompoch Harnvichachai of Thailand for the World Boxing Association world light flyweight championship by unanimous decision in his opponent's home turf in Ko Samui on February 20, 1900.
He was again defeated in his third try for the world title against Noel Arambulet of Venezuela by unanimous decision in hostile territory in Caracas on October 9, 1999 for the vacant World Boxing Association world minimumweight title.
Gamboa triumphed over Japanese Satoru Abe by unanimous decision for the interim World Boxing Association minimumweight title in Aomori, Japan on April 9, 2000.
Joma finally won a world title belt by defeating Noel Arambulet in a rematch for the vacant World Boxing Association world minimumweight championship. Arambulet did not make the weight limit and was stripped of his title, and the crown was staked only for Gamboa.
Panamanian Harmodio Cedeno scored it 114-116 for Arambulet while Australian Derek Milham saw it 116-115 and South Korean Moo-Hong Moon had it 116-114 for Gamboa who became world title holder on August 20, 2000 in Tokyo, Japan.
Gamboa was not able to hold his title much longer when he lost it in his first defense three months and 16 days later on December 6, 2000. He was defeated by Keitaro Hoshino in his home country in Yokohama, Japan by unanimous decision.
He moved on to win over Wicha Phulaikhao of Thailand by 5th round TKO. Then he scored another stoppage over Ophat Niamprem also of Thailand in the 3rd round.
Then he faced Keitaro Hoshino in a rematch for the vacant World Boxing Association world minimumweight title. Hoshino lost the title to Chana Porpaoin of Thailand who later vacated it. Thus Gamboa and Hoshino fought for the vacant WBA championship on January 29, 2002 but the Filipino failed again.
Gamboa drew with future world title challenger Juanito Rubillar for the World Boxing Council international light flyweight title. The technical draw was decided because of a nasty cut suffered by Gamboa due to an accidental head butt on May 31, 2002.
He got two unanimous decision wins over Japan’s Daisuke Iida in Shizuoka, Japan and Rodel Quilaton in Ormoc City.
Gamboa tried to win a world title for the sixth time but was beaten by the legendary Mexican four-division world champion Jorge Arce for the World Boxing Council world light flyweight championhip. He was knocked out in the 2nd round on January 10, 2004 in Mexico City.
He lost three more times to three Indonesians Dickson Ton by split decision, Angky Angkotta by unanimous decision and Hengky Wuwungan by 3rd round TKO. Angkotta was the only boxer to defeat Donnie Nietes.
Joma retired after 46 bouts with 33 wins, 22 KO victories, 11 losses, 5 KO defeats and 2 draws per boxrec.com.
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