After a 15 month lay off Yuriorkis Gamboa will be back in action against Michael Farenas on Dec. 8th in a scheduled 12 round bout in the Jr. Lightweight division. Gamboa will be sharing the spotlight as he will be on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao- Juan Manuel Marquez 4.
Former WBA/IBF Featherweight champion Gamboa is poised to be one of the next generation of boxing stars. A contract dispute with Top Rank, which led him to back out of a fight with Brandon Rios earlier this year and a search for a new promoter that ended with signing to 50 Cent’s SMS promotions have kept Gamboa inactive since Sept. of 2011.
The original opponent slated for Cuba’s 2004 Olympic gold medalist was Mexico’s Miguel Beltran Jr. Beltran was last seen on the Chavez Jr.-Martinez undercard where he lost a split decision is an all out slugfest with Roman “Rocky” Martinez. The brutal fight with Martinez left him unable to return to the ring on such short notice, so Farenas stepped in.
Farenas is 7-0-1 with 2KO’s in his last 8 fights but the southpaw is not a fighter to take lightly as 26 of his 34 victories have come by way of KO. Farenas’ promoter, former Bantamweight title holder Gerry Penalosa is on the record saying that if his guy lands clean, it will be the end of the road for Gamboa.
Farenas will need more then self confidence and the support from his camp to get through Gamboa. Yuriorkis has unbelievable footwork, thudding power, lightening speed, and some of the best offense in the game. In my opinion Farenas will have to take advantage of whatever early ring rust Gamboa will show because when the Cuban gets settled and his comfort ability back, destruction will be an order.
Gamboa’s last 3 opponents have been the stiffest competition he has faced in his career. His most recent outing, which again wasn’t so recent, was against Daniel Ponce De Leon. A cut on De Leon’s forehead took the fight to the cards where Gamboa was already comfortably ahead 80-72 on 2 cards and 79-73 on the 3rd.
In his 2 prior fights Gamboa scored a 4th round TKO of Jorge Solis where he retained his WBA Featherweight title and had to forgo his IBF title defense due to skipping a mandatory re-weigh in. Gamboa looked as sharp as ever against Solis sending him to the canvas twice in the 2nd, once in the 3rd, and again twice in the 4th that lead to the stoppage. Before the Solis fight, Orlando Salido also fell victim by unanimous decision.
Farenas will be a nice tune-up for Gamboa who after this fight should be back in the driver seat to get a date with big time name. One of the possibilities being thrown around is Juan Manuel Lopez, who recently lost back to back fights against Orlando Salido. Gamboa-Lopez is a little overdue if you ask me and has lost some of its luster because of Lopez’s losses to Salido but would still be must see TV.
The biggest surprise to me is that Gamboa will be on a Top Rank card but that is the benefit of now being signed to SMS Promotions. 50 Cent bought out his contract for over 7 figures and has plans on making Gamboa a household name.