Cuba’s Yuriorkis Gamboa, who really did light up the featherweight and super-featherweight divisions back in the 2010s, is currently behind bars having been the driver of a car that killed a pedestrian on New Year’s Eve in Cuba. Gamboa – Boxeo Cubano reports, with numerous other news sources reporting on the developing story – drove his car along a dark road in Santiago de Cuba and he hit a person, killing them.
Gamboa’s legal team have been quick to point out that the 41 year old former champion was not driving whilst under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. “There are still many details to be clarified,” a person close to Gamboa and the situation told newspaper El Nuevo Herald. “We want to make clear, Gamboa was not under the influence of any illegal substance – Gamboa is a very religious person and he does not take alcohol or anything that is improper.”
Gamboa is, as far as we know, still in jail, with no time frame for when he will be released. It does seem as though the car accident was just that – a tragic accident.
Gamboa, who defected from Cuba after winning Olympic gold in Athens in 2004 (selling his medal in an effort at raising money for his family), went pro in 2007 and he immediately caught the eye of fight fans. Looking for all the world like a future great, Gamboa ultimately fell short, although he did capture world titles at 126 pounds as well as interim versions of titles at 130 and 135.
Gamboa’s biggest fight came in June of 2014 when he fought Terence Crawford, Gamboa being stopped in the ninth round of a thrilling battle. Currently 30-5(18) Gamboa last boxed back in April of last year, when he was stopped in five rounds by Isaac Cruz. It seems doubtful Gamboa will fight again. A fight for freedom is the battle Gamboa will now be involved in.
Our sympathies go out to the family and friends of the unnamed pedestrian who sadly lost their life on the final day of 2022.