Both men are well into their 30s, both have been inactive as of late and both men need to win: Yuriorkis Gamboa and Roman Martinez, who will clash in Baltimore on July 27th. 3Kings Boxing broke the story, the match-up also up now on invaluable web site BoxRec. A real crossroads fight, this one could prove to be a good and interesting fight.
Gamboa, 29-2(17) and now aged 37, signed a multi-fight deal with PBC earlier this year and the Martinez fight will be his PBC debut. Martinez, 30-3-3(18) and a year the younger man, has had just one fight since his crushing KO loss to a 5-1 Vasyl Lomachenko back in June of 2016, this being a comeback win over a 30-10 William Gonzalez this March.
So who has the most left, former three-time WBO 130 pound champ Martinez of Puerto Rico, or the former WBA/IBF 126 and interim WBA 135 pound champ from Cuba? At one time, both men looked to be on the path to greatness; Gamboa certainly. But that was quite some time ago now and both fighters have suffered some nasty stoppage defeats. Lomachenko looked to have violently ended the career of Martinez and perhaps the real-life “Rocky” should not have come back after being so brutally iced.
Gamboa last fought in November of last year, when he won a decision over Miguel Beltran Jr. Winner of his last three, Gamboa has shown patches of his former brilliance, his former speed of hand, yet he has not faced an elite fighter since his thrilling but losing battle with Terence Crawford back in June of 2014.
Gamboa is the pick to beat Martinez, probably by decision, but really, anything could happen when these two veterans collide. During his career, Gamboa faced such top names as Crawford, common opponent Orlando Salido, Rogers Mtagwa, Jorge Solis and Daniel Ponce de Leon. Martinez has been in with guys like Lomachenko, Salido (twice), Miguel Beltran, Ricky Burns and Mikey Garcia.
Both men are as experienced as can be and years ago this would have made for a sensational fight. Today, who knows what we can expect?