Yuriorkis Gamboa-Brandon Rios Fight In Near-Collapse - Gamboa Says “There Was Never A Contract”

By James Slater: Though unbeaten Cuban defector Yuriorkis Gamboa has made it clear he is not afraid to fight fellow unbeaten Brandon Rios, the former featherweight has also stated clearly that the fight - set for April 14th in Las Vegas with the vacant WBA 135-pound title on the line - will only happen under contractual terms that are to his liking.

As fans have probably read, Gamboa failed to attend yesterday’s press conference in Miami. Immediately speculation was rife as to why not, and now we know. Speaking exclusively with, Gamboa explained things:

“There’s no contract and there is no fight,” Gamboa said flatly. “Whenever everything is clear with my contract , that’s when the fight will happen, but right now I’m not under the terms that I want the fight to happen. I didn’t choose to be in the position I’m in right now. But this is the time to do this, because if I don’t stand up for myself, nobody else is going to do it. I never thought that things would wind up this way, but there was never a contract and there was never a signature from Gamboa agreeing to fight with Brandon Rios on April 14th.”

Gamboa, who did verbally agree to the fight, has issues with his current promoters, Top Rank and Arena-Box with Ahmet Oner. Gamboa’s lawyer said the fighter is currently trying to work things out with his current promoters, yet already people are talking - saying a possible signing up with Mayweather Promotions is on Gamboa’s schedule. Gamboa has denied this, saying that the gym he is training at - Floyd Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas - has merely been provided to him by his “friend, Floyd Mayweather.”

In any case, Top Rank spokesman Lee Samuels, talking to USA Today, said Gamboa is legally bound to Top Rank for another two years. “He can’t fight for anyone else,” Samuels said.

So will the fight with Rios happen? It looks all but impossible that it will; certainly the April 14th date looks out. Right from the start, this potential classic looked too good to be true. Now, with tickets having gone on sale and fans from all over having made plans to attend the fight (not to mention having shelled out with the necessary cash) we are left with one big mess.

There is a press conference set for L.A today, but Gamboa has already said he will not be attending this one either.

“I didn’t sign anything, I’m not going,” Gamboa said.

Needless to say, Rios is a very angry man right now. After all, it was Gamboa who called HIM out. The best that can be hoped for in terns of the planned April 14th show, is Rios going in with a high quality late replacement. Hopefully, though, the fight between “Bam Bam” and Gamboa will not be lost forever.

Article posted on 06.03.2012

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