Boxing

Yuriorkis Gamboa “Done At 126,” Wants Mega-Fight With Pacquiao!

By James Slater: Yuriokis Gamboa, one of the fastest fighters alive today, proved to be way too fast for the heavy-handed but plodding Daniel Ponce De Leon last night. The sizzling Cuban won via shut-out technical decision when the fight was stopped in the 8th due to a bad cut suffered by the Mexican.

Gamboa never got the KO he and his fans were perhaps hoping for, but he thoroughly dominated a very dangerous, word class opponent. But Gamboa, now 21-0(16) struggled mightily to make featherweight for one last time (in fact neither he nor De Leon made 126, the fight being fought at 127) and he says his days of fighting at featherweight are definitely over and done with.

“I’m done at 126,” Gamboa said post-fight. “There’s nothing left for me to prove. I want to fight the best boxers in the world. Living legends like Manny Pacquiao. Bring on the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.”

Gamboa himself is now deserving of a place in the top six or so P-4-P, at least in my view, but how great can the Cuban defector become? His sights set incredibly high, Gamboa sure wants to take on some seriously talented, greatness-defining opposition. But at just over 5’5” and with a reach of 65,” is there a realistic chance Gamboa will ever get to face Manny Pacquiao?

Gamboa can certainly continue to dominate up at 130-pounds, maybe even 135 - but 140 looks just too much for him. There are some potentially thrilling match-ups for Gamboa at 130 and 135, but will the 29-year-old phenom remain unsatisfied until he gets a crack at P-4-P king Pac-Man?

Such a match-up, if it could be held at a catch-weight of, say, 137-pounds, would be an absolutely massive attraction and a huge event. Pac-Man’s incredible speed and power Vs. Gamboa’s blurring speed and power! Just imagine the raw excitement that would take place in mid-ring. But will Pacquiao, now happy fighting at welterweight (even though his next fight will be fought at a catch-weight of 144), feel the need to come back down to accommodate Gamboa?

At 5’6.5” and with a reach of 67,” Pac-Man is not that much bigger, taller or longer-armed than Gamboa, so you never know, such a match-up might not prove to be such a flight of fancy. The weight issue will prove to be the sticking point though. But to repeat: what a truly exciting occasion it would be if Pacquiao and Gamboa met some time next year. What a great fight it would almost certainly be.

In the meantime, while Pac-Man takes care of business - first in his third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez and then, who knows, against Floyd Mayweather - Gamboa will begin his climb up the divisions. Gamboa, in my opinion, is certainly more than capable of causing carnage at super-featherweight; a division that has no real standout star. And as for the 135-pound division, the idea of Gamboa against the likes of Brandon Rios or (if he moves back down) Juan Manuel Marquez sends shivers down the spine!

Gamboa is set to become one of the biggest lower-weight stars in boxing I feel, with wins over the likes of Rios and, if the fight can still be made, Juan Manuel Lopez making him such a star. It would be a winning fight with Pac-Man that would make Gamboa a mega-star though. Will the fight ever happen?

Article posted on 11.09.2011



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