Boxing


Yuriorkis Gamboa-Juan Manuel Lopez: Will It Happen If Both Guys Win Their Upcoming Fights?

By James Slater - Promoter Bob Arum recognises how much of a big deal a featherweight unification clash between 126-pound stars Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez can be. Wanting, as he has said, for the fight to build and build until it is an absolutely massive event, Arum must now feel close to making the fight - especially if both guys win their upcoming fights.

Cuban Gamboa, the reigning WBA featherweight champ, faces Orlando Salido on Saturday night in his Las Vegas debut, and if victorious the unbeaten sensation will add the IBF belt to his WBA strap. While Puerto Ricoís Lopez, the WBO ruler at 126, faces legend Rafael Marquez in November (also in Vegas), in what is expected to be a great fight in its own right.. However, a Gamboa-Lopez clash, ďfor all the marbles,Ē as Buddy McGirt would say, would indeed be something special. Will it happen in the first quarter of 2011?

Gamboa has a potentially tough task against the experienced Salido, and he says he is focused solely on that fight right now. Also, in speaking with Danny Flexen of Boxing News, the Cuban defector who now lives in Miami, said he has doubts Lopez can see off the great Marquez.

ďI know that lots of people are talking about me fighting Lopez and I have nothing against that,Ē Gamboa told Flexen. ďJust bring him on, I am ready to go. To be honest I donít know if he can actually beat Rafael Marquez who is a living legend. Then again I donít care that much. I will take on whoever wins that fight. Both Lopez and Marquez are great fighters and Iím sure that they would bring the best out of me. But letís not focus too much about the future. I have to focus on Salido first.Ē

So, Gamboa, 18-0(15) has no qualms about getting it on with the lethal-hitting Lopez, 29-0(26), and Lopez himself has spoken about taking the mouth-watering fight. For what itís worth, I feel Gamboa WILL beat Salido, by mid-rounds stoppage. I also feel Lopez, so much the younger and fresher man, will get past Marquez (he may have to go through hell to do it!) on November 6th. Hopefully, then, Arum will realise the fight is hot enough to make and will indeed make it.

Could a Gamboa-Lopez unification clash be the biggest fight of next year, at least from the lower weight classes? Sure it could. With the fight maybe even becoming a featherweight version of Leonard-Hearns, maybe even a Hagler-Hearns? Letís get the fight made and then weíll see!

Personally, Pacquiao-Mayweather aside, I canít think of a hotter match-up.

Article posted on 10.09.2010



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