Joey Spencer has looked a little bit human in his last two professional boxing matches.
The Linden resident won both by unanimous decisions, but Spencer’s tri-county fans had gotten used to quick knock outs during his televised fights on the Fox sports networks.
As the opening bout during Fox Sports 1’s preliminary fights program for its eventual pay per view championship event featuring Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter, Spencer looked pretty dynamite against his first undefeated opponent of his pro career. In the process, he looked a lot like the powerful prospect fans got used to seeing when he knocked out his first six opponents.
Spencer (9-0) dominated Travis Gambardella – now 5-1-2 – earning a knockout early in the third round. Spencer knocked Gambardella to the canvas three times in the opening two rounds. The first two came in the first round when he used body shots to noticeably hurt Gambardella. Gambardella provided hardly any offense in the opening round, landing either one or two punches the entire round.
In the second round, Gambardella tried to be more offensive, but it didn’t work. Spencer still dominated the round and used another body shot to set up his third knock out of the fight. Warned by the referee that another knock out of Gambardella would result in the end of the fight, Spencer’s opponent was able to weather the storm and make it out of the second round. However, a head shot early in the third round dazed Gambardella, forcing the referee to call the fight before Gambardella went down for a fourth time.
“I saw that my shots were coming in hard,” Spencer said about the third round. “He had already been down three times. I think the ref was trying to make sure we didn’t have a tragic event that happened in the sport of boxing lately. I think he probably could’ve continued, and I would’ve liked to see him continue, but obviously I’m happy with the way it turned out. I did what I needed to do.”
The knock out was Spencer’s seventh in nine fights. Based on his undefeated record, Gambardella was Spencer’s strongest opponent yet. In his more recent fight in October 2018, Gambardella won a major decision against another undefeated fighter, Joe Farina.
“I had a tough fight. I think this was my best opponent yet,” Spencer said. “I came in knowing it was going to be a tough task. I thought he was going to make me come forward more. … God was with me tonight. I was able to do what I needed to.”
Spencer threw 119 punches and landed 48 of them, many damaging body blows. Gambardella attempted just 56 punches and landed on just six. Spencer was never hit hard and certainly was never seriously hurt. The bout was initially scheduled for six rounds, like Spencer’s previous two fights, but was rescheduled for four rounds. That probably had to do with the television time for the preliminary show on FS1.
“Definitely we’ll be going back up to six (rounds),” Spencer said. “I felt fantastic tonight. This was planned to be a six-rounder and things changed. I’m definitely ready for a six-rounder.”
Expect the 19-year old professional boxer to continue to push forward.
“I’m just willing to train hard every day,” Spencer said. “I’m going to get right back to the gym and I’ll be ready for the next one.”