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.

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.”

Colbert vs. Nyambayar card, odds

Odds via William Hill Sportsbook

Chris Colbert (c) -550

Tugstsogt Nyambayar +400

WBA interim super featherweight title

Michel Rivera -360

Jon Fernandez +280

Lightweight

Angel Alejandro

Rudy Ochoa

Super featherweight

Shon Mondragon

Jose Perez

Featherweight

Gabriela Fundora

Indeya Smith

Flyweight

Daniel Garcia

Gabe Sandoval

Super featherweight

Rajon Chance

Marco Lara

Super bantamweight

Anthony Cuba

William Flenoy

Lightweight

Prediction

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





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