It would be a superb match-up between two of the finest boxers currently doing their thing in the lower weight classes, and Yuriorkis Gamboa wants it: a fight with the man promoter Bob Arum has gone as far as to say is the best he has ever seen – Vasyl Lomachenko. Gamboa, back training with Ismael Salas, ha snot fought since December of last year, but he is currently training and a fight will hopefully be announced soon.
Gamboa, a former champion at featherweight as well as an interim champ at 130-pounds, has been defeated just once in his pro career – in that thriller with new pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford – and he said on Twitter shortly after watching Crawford’s master class of a win over Viktor Postol how he gave Crawford a much tougher fight and this is why Top Rank are “keeping Vasyl Lomachenko away from me.”
Lomachenko, already a champion at 126 and 130, is coming off that quite spectacular KO over the capable Roman “Rocky” Martinez and his future is as bright as can be. A fight between Lomachenko and Gamboa, either at super-featherweight, lightweight or somewhere in between (this one would be a catch-weight fight no-one would grumble about) would be a potential classic. Both men are immensely skilled, both of them having enjoyed stellar amateur careers, and the speed, power and sheer class both men posses would make this a can’t-miss fight.
At age 28, Lomachenko – surely the finest 6-1 fighter of all-time – would have quite an advantage in youth over the 34-year-old Gamboa, and the inactivity he has been experiencing cannot have done Gamboa’s reflexes and timing any real good. Is it too late in Gamboa’s career for him to become the superstar he always looked like being? Gamboa pushed Crawford hard in his last major fight (back in June of 2014, at 135-pounds) but he was simply too small, lacking in sufficient body mass and, at a fraction above 5’5,” lacking in reach against the 5’8” Crawford, a man who will almost certainly be boxing as a welterweight pretty soon.
But against Lomachenko, Gamboa would not be outsized (Lomachenko is 5’6”). This fight really does have the look of a natural super-fight; one that would surely elevate the winner significantly – especially if the winner scored a sizzling KO victory. Gamboa we know wants the fight; is Lomachenko – and Top Rank – quite so keen?