Ahmet Oner: "Gamboa is still underestimated! He is ready for the big stage!"

After hurricane "Irene" hit the East Coast last week, Atlantic City is getting ready for another thunderstorm on September 10th when Cuban featherweight phenomenon Yuriorkis "El Ciclon" Gamboa steps into the ring to blow away former world champion Daniel Ponce de Leon.

There have been only very few fighters who made as much noise as Gamboa over the past years. The 2004 Olympic gold medallist has impressed fans and experts with his extraordinary speed and power and fought his way to stardom with spectacular performances since turning pro in April 2007.

Even though Gamboa is held to be one of the fastest rising up and coming stars in the business promoter Ahmet Oner, the man who signed Gamboa to his first professional contract along with fellow Cuban gold medallist Odlanier Solis and led him to two world titles, thinks that his fighter is still underestimated.

"Some people see Gamboa as a prospect but he is far more than this already", says Oner. "He is one of the four or five best fighters in the world right now and he is ready and willing to prove it in every single fight. He has beaten everybody who crossed his way and he is not ducking anybody. Gamboa always wanted to fight Chris John – but he avoided him. He always wanted to fight JuanMa Lopez – but he lost to a guy Gamboa had already beaten."

According to Oner, Gamboa plans to fight his way through the divisions in order to get bigger fights.

"Right now there’s nothing left to prove for Gamboa at 126. That’s why we are planning to move up in weight. It seems to be the next natural step for a naturally gifted fighter like Gamboa. He wants the big fights and the big names, he wants to get to the point where Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather jr. are at the moment. To do so he needs to get – and of course win – the big fights. I can imagine him fighting up to 140 easily. We are certainly not looking past Daniel Ponce de Leon who is very dangerous. He might not be as fast as Gamboa but he is a heavyhanded puncher with an excellent timing. This will surely be Gamboa’s toughest test so far and he cannot make any mistakes or show any flaws. He has to be at his best in order to get past Ponce de Leon. But I would suggest that people like Amir Khan watch this fight closely because this is what might be coming for them."

Oner also addressed the contractual situation with his co-promoter Top Rank. "It’s a pleasure to work with a legend like Bob and Todd and their whole crew. Everybody at Top Rank is very professional, they know how to promote great fighters and huge events and have always been loyal and fair to us. But of course, there is a huge interest in a unique star like Gamboa and we have lots of options for the time after our contract expires. When the time comes I will sit down with my fighter and discuss what our next steps will be. Gamboa trusts me and I will always look for the best option for his development and his future. He is an extraordinary talent and he deserves to be a superstar. It’s up to Top Rank to renew the co-promotional deal if they want. They will always be our first option. But for the moment we cannot think about the future. We have to focus all energies on Ponce de Leon and the fight next week. I’m really looking forward to a great show."

Article posted on 02.09.2011

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