On September 10th, Cuban marvel Yuriorkis Gamboa will return to the ring when he faces a stern test in the form of former title-holder Daniel Ponce De Leon at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Despite being stripped of his WBA belt by bizarre circumstances recently, Gamboa is regarded by many as the man to beat at 126 pounds because of his blend of speed in his hands and feet and also because of his potent power.
De Leon is coming off of a questionable loss this past March to undefeated Adrien Broner, a fight that he took at 130 pounds, and he admits that he is more comfortable in the featherweight class. If successful next month, Gamboa’s promoter Bob Arum sees big things for his 29-year old charge and thinks 2012 can be a banner year for him.
“As far as I am concerned, big fights for Gamboa down the road; the winner of Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando Salido. I’d like to make that fight next year. Then probably the biggest fight in the featherweight division would be against the up and coming bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire, who will be going up to featherweight next year and that should be a big, big match,” Arum stated during a recent conference call to promote the Gamboa-De Leon bout.
Donaire last saw action this past February inside of the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada when he blew away Fernando Montiel inside of two rounds to capture the WBC and WBO bantamweight titles he now holds. A messy legal spat soon followed for Donaire in regards to his promotional services but he is now back with Top Rank and currently eyeing an October 22nd return to the ring.
Salido upset Lopez this past April in the then-champion’s native land of Puerto Rico via 8th round TKO and the two look to be on course for a rematch in the near future.
The name of Garry Russell has also been floated around as a possible opponent for Gamboa one day. The 23-year old surely has talent but Arum can’t get too excited about the undefeated prospect just yet.
“As far as Gary Russell is concerned, I never saw him fight and it seems to me to be another Al Haymon invention.”
To check out Gamboa’s recent highlights please click the video on the left or check out Yuriorkis Gamboa blows out Jorge Solis
For a picture by picture look at Yuriorkis Gamboa please visit the slideshow on the left or check out Images of Yuriorkis Gamboa
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Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected]