By Michael Marley
Some fighters utter inanities in multiple languages. Others offer up inoffensive, boring chatter, the kind of innocuous remarks such as "I'll do my talking in the ring."
Cuban featherweight and undefeated stylist Yuriorkis Gamboa is, thankfully, not one of those boring fellows.
Top Rank's Todd duBoef hosted a small, intimate gathering of media types to chat with the 29 year old Gamboa (20-0, 16 KOs) at Victor's Cafe during a persistent, heavy downpour Tuesday night, in advance of Gamboa's Saturday night HBO 12-rounder against solid journeyman Daniel Ponce De Leon (Atlantic City).
The deluge of rain and the fact the rendezvous at the Cuban eatery made famous by frequent visitor Roberto Duran's "Hands Of Stone" being immortalized on the sidewalk occurred only hours after a Tuesday morning Marquez-Pacquiao III presser kept the turnout low.
But the flashy Gamboa, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist who sold off that bauble for a mere $1,500 to pay for a daughter's first birthday party, had some quotes of interest, including:
On Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao:
"Pacquiao, he can't win that fight against Mayweather. He can give Floyd a challenge but he cannot win. No one is around who can beat Mayweather at 147 pounds. Pacquiao is one who has a chance, that's all."
On Vicious Victor Ortiz upsetting FMJ on Sept. 17: "(Sneering)....No way, no chance (laughs)., If I was with (promoted by Golden Boy), maybe I could've gotten that fight."
On the public appetite for constant Manny/Floyd coverage: "It's too much. There are other good fighters. They don't let people become fans of other boxers. I have 6,000 followers on Facebook. The others (younger fighters than Manny and Floyd) we don't get seen before you get into a big fight. I will get a big fight like that, win it and stay on top. I will show everyone who I am, why I am undefeated."
On getting stripped of his WBA crown and being sans a world title (for skipping a day after weigh in weight check): "There is a Mexican song that goes...'with a crown or without a crown, I'm still going be a king.' I can, with six months focus on that, even move up to 135 pounds."
On the hyped up showdown with popular Puerto Rican Juan Manuel Lopez which became a train wreck when Orlando Salido thumped the Boricua Belter: "Yes, I was disappointed but he was never in my league. He was nothing as an amateur, nothing. I was a little disappointed but I beat Salido and he could not. It shows JuanMa is not one of the best ones. I only want to fight the best ones."
Give it up for Gamboa. He does his talking in and out of the ring.
Boxing could use more such quotable combatants...in any language.