It's rare that the need for a late replacement leads to a better fight in the boxing world. However, that's exactly the situation that played out when Yuriorkis Gamboa's injured rib forced him out of his fight with Chris Colbert. Now, Colbert faces Tugstsogt Nyambayar in a compelling fight from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on Saturday night (9 p.m. ET, Showtime).
Colbert (15-0, 6 KO) has not been in the ring since December, when he stopped Jaime Arboleda in Round 11 of their Showtime main event, Colbert's first headline spot on the network. In the Arboleda fight, Colbert showed off some power and a willingness to stand and trade in an exciting battle. The win was Colbert's second successful defense of his interim WBA super featherweight title, with Roger Gutierrez holding the WBA "regular" championship and Gervonta Davis as "super" champion.
The slick boxing Colbert could elevate himself closer to a shot at those other champions, or at least bigger opportunities, with a win against "King Tug," a skilled and rugged opponent who has been on the big stage before.
Nyambayar (12-1, 9 KO) is coming off a split decision win over Cobia Breedy this past September. The Breedy fight was expected to be something of a "get right" opportunity for Nyambayar after his spirited effort against Gary Russell Jr. in February 2020. While the Russell fight showed that Nyambayar can hang with elite fighters, the Breedy fight displayed some now-recurring problems for Nyambayar as he had lengthy periods of inactivity that nearly cost him the fight despite scoring two early knockdowns.
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Now, Nyambayar is looking to make a statement by stepping up on short notice against a dangerous opponent.
"Two weeks' notice is enough for me," Nyambayar said at a pre-event press conference. "If I didn't take the fight, Colbert wouldn't have a fight. So he should be thankful. Let's see what happens. I'm going to whoop his ass."
Showtime Boxing will be the only major game in town this weekend as most celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. And they are giving some fun options to enjoy with a lightweight title eliminator in the co-main event between Michel Rivera and Jon Fernandez. Plus, Showtime is set to re-air Gervonta "Tank" Davis and Mario Barrios from a week ago where Davis scored an 11th-round knockout to earn a title in a third weight class.
Below is the full fight card as well as a prediction for the main event.
Colbert vs. Nyambayar card, odds
Odds via William Hill Sportsbook
Chris Colbert (c) -575
Tugstsogt Nyambayar +425
WBA interim super featherweight title
Michel Rivera -380
Jon Fernandez +300
WBA lightweight title eliminator
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