Promoters are manipulating fights people do or don't want to see
“I NEED a dance partner, bottom line,” says Cuban hotshot Yuriorkis Gamboa, when asked what will take him from being the world’s most exciting fighter to the world’s best fighter.
“I need a good dance partner to make a great fight and show my worth to my fans, myself, my family and take off from there. I need to fight the best. I came here [to the USA] to fight the best and that’s what I want.”
The Cuban, promoted by rapper 50 Cent’s SMS Promotions, is based in Florida but has spent time training at 50 Cent’s immaculate facility just away from the Las Vegas Strip.
And although he now has the right connections to raise his profile, inactivity has blighted the 31-year-old’s progress.
“They didn’t want to make the fight when I was at 122 with Juan Manuel Lopez, who was one of the best fighters around at the time and it never materialised,” he went on. “Being in the business and now having some experience in it I know they don’t want to give the Cubans the opportunity because they don’t have the market like the Mexicans or the Puerto Ricans do - but you have to be realistic and give opportunities to the fighters who do have skills, talents, and abilities to make the good fights and let the fans decide who they want to watch. Promoters are manipulating the fights that people do or don’t want to see or are actually watching and that only waters it [boxing] down.
“Maybe that’s why fights haven’t seen the fights they want to see. Maybe that’s why Mayweather-Pacquiao hasn’t happened. The fans that know boxing and love boxing know the good fights, irrespective of nationality, marketability, whatever the case may be.”
Gamboa fell between the cracks of the Floyd Mayweather-50 Cent split last year and has not fought since starring on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez IV bill in December.
On June 8, he meets unbeaten Colombian Darley Perez, 28-0 (19), in Quebec in his first outing since climbing off the floor to defeat Michael Farenas in a typical thriller. It could be explosive.
Gamboa, 22-0 (16), habitually delivers fireworks and he has no plans to change that.
“My coach in Cuba told me I used to get a little too reckless and I fought with too much bravado and I got careless making those errors,” he smiled. “However, I think it is part of my make-up and it makes me stronger because I get up from those [knockdowns] and I eventually win.”
He certainly isn’t fazed by having to travel, either, having picked up a slot on the show headlined by Chad Dawson’s battle with Adonis Stevenson.
“I have fought all over the world and I welcome the opportunity of fighting in Montreal,” he says. “My greatest glories have always been outside of Cuba, this is just another place where I have to go.”
The Cuban admits he would like “three to four fights a year” has also laid down the gauntlet to Scotland’s Ricky Burns.
See this week’s Boxing News, available May 16, to see what Gamboa has to say about Burns, the success of compatriot Gullermo Rigondeaux and Cuban stereotypes, on newsstands and available from www.boxingnewsonline.net/apps.
My coach in Cuba told me I used to get too reckless