By Rick Reeno
Former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16KOs) has continued his recent string of no-shows and head scratching displays of bizarre behavior. The talented Cuban boxer no-showed a scheduled meeting with Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum.
Last month, Top Rank filed a federal lawsuit in the state of Nevada against Gamboa (21-0, 16KOs). The promotional company is seeking to recover damages due to an alleged "breach of contract" by Gamboa.
Gamboa, moving up by two weight divisions, was scheduled to fight Brandon Rios (29-0-1, 22KOs) in an HBO televised main event on April 14th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. However, Gamboa no-showed press conferences in Miami and Los Angeles - and he refused to move forward with the fight, citing differences with his promoters Top Rank and Ahmet Oner of Arena Box.
As a result of Gamboa's position, a deal was finalized for Rios to face WBA interim-lightweight champion Richard Abril (17-2-1, 8KOs).
Arum, and basically everyone involved in the negotiations of the Rios deal were shocked with Gamboa's antics - because Top Rank and Arena satisfied several of Gamboa's demands - including monetary advances totaling $70,000, the scheduling of a press conference in his hometown of Miami, and agreeing to provide the Cuban boxer with four times his contract minimum to fight Rios.
In the last few days, Gamboa reached out to well-known boxing manager and promoter Luis DeCubas Sr., and made a request to DeCubas to schedule a meeting with Arum. Reportedly, the Cuban boxer told DeCubas that he wanted to meet with Arum in order to sort our their differences and hopefully they were able to reach an understanding to move forward.
"DeCubas called me with Gamboa," Arum told BoxingScene.com. "[Gamboa] was talking to me in broken English, telling me 'I love you, I love you."
Arum agreed to meet with Gamboa at 1PM on Saturday afternoon at the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Arum, and DeCubas, were both present - but Gamboa was nowhere to be found. After an hour of waiting, Arum went back home. The veteran promoter asked DeCubas to call him when Gamboa showed up. Around 5PM, DeCubas called Arum and said "I guess he's not coming."
After decades of promoting and dealing with thousands of fighters, Arum has never experienced this sort of behavior from a contracted boxer.
"He requested the meeting. I don't know what's going on [with Gamboa]," Arum said.