Boxing


Yuriorkis Gamboa-Brandon Rios Could Happen As Soon As January Of Next Year!

By James Slater: Last week, ESPN’s Dan Rafael wrote a story informing us how unbeaten stars Brandon Rios and Yuriorkis Gamboa could be on a collision course, with a fight between the two, staged at 135-pounds, possibly happening as soon as next summer.

29-year-old Gamboa, the sensational Cuban who has already won belts at featherweight, feels he has outgrown the 126-pound weight-class and wants to go up as high as lightweight. 25-year-old Rios, the current WBA 135-pound champ wants to go up to 140 one day, but he is willing to stay at 135 a little while longer so as to get in the ring with Gamboa.

The latest news from Rafael is that Arum is now suggesting the dynamite match-up could happen in January of next year; with Arum even having a date pencilled in - that of Jan. 28th. Gamboa, it was reported, was initially going to have a fight at 130, and then make the move up to 135. But now it seems the 2004 Olympic gold medallist may move straight up to lightweight and into a potential classic with the warrior from Oxnard. A smart move by Gamboa, or a case of the Cuban biting off more than he can chew?

Gamboa, 21-0(16) recently hired Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, and the Kronk genius feels his latest charge has all the tools needed to become a great. We have, however, all seen Gamboa’s defensive flaws. No stranger to being tagged and even decked in fights, “El Ciclon de Guantanamo” would surely be made to pay if he fought anywhere near recklessly against Rios, 28-0-1(21).

But with Steward guiding him in training camp, Gamboa will surely tighten up his defensive game and look to further prove his shining talent. The fight, though, if it happens, will certainly be of the “don’t blink” variety.

One man who will no doubt feel slighted if he has read about Rios’ plans to fight again as soon as January, is Britain’s John Murray. Murray faces Rios on Dec. 3rd in New York and the Manchester tough guy feels he will upset the odds and beat “Bam Bam” on the night. If he manages to do so, Murray will ruin plans of Rios facing Gamboa less than two months later. Even if Murray doesn’t defeat Rios but gives him a rough, punishing ride, will Rios be able to step in with a sensational talent like Gamboa so soon afterwards?

Fans everywhere love the idea of Rios-Gamboa, and the idea of this fight going ahead as soon as January will cause even more excitement. But something tells me that 26-year-old Murray, 31-1(18) will give Rios a way tougher night’s work than the WBA ruler thinks. Yuriorkis Gamboa will be a most interested observer come Dec. 3rd!

Article posted on 04.11.2011



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