Juanma is Open To Facing Gamboa at 130-Pounds

By Rick Reeno

MGM Grand, Las Vegas - Several years ago, when both fighters were promoted by Top Rank, Juan Manuel Lopez (34-3, 31KOs) vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa was one of the most talked about fights in boxing.

Most believe the fight should have happened sooner than later, but Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum was attempting to build the fight into a pay-per-view attraction.

The fight was basically a dead issue after Juanma was knocked out in back to back fights with Orlando Salido, and then Gamboa (23-1, 16KOs) parted ways with Top Rank.

But now the Juanma-Gamboa, although nowhere near as big as it could have been back then, has a chance of coming of.

Following last month's knockout loss to WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford, Gamboa made it clear that he was moving down in weight, to 130-pounds, and named Juanma as a possible option.

Tomorrow night as part of the Canelo-Lara Showtime Pay-Per-View, Juanma will face undefeated Francisco Vargas (19-0-1, 13KOs) of Mexico.

If Juanma defeats Vargas, he would certainly accept a fight with Gamboa.

"I was always available for that fight. I left it in the hands of the promoters and I'm not sure why there was never an agreement. If they offered me that fight, I would have no problem doing it. Not only him, but also a third fight with [Orlando] Salido, a rematch with Mikey Garcia or even [Vasyl] Lomachenko [if he moves up]," Juanma told

And Juanma agrees with Gamboa's decision to move down. He says Gamboa's best weight is 130 or even the featherweight limit of 126-pounds.

"He's too small for 135-pounds. Gamboa can't fight at that weight. He's really more of a 130-pounder, maybe even a 126-pounder. Crawford was too big for him and too strong and you could see even before the fight that [Gamboa] was going to be too small," Juanma said.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by gmc_rfc_06 on 07-12-2014

Gamboa stops him inside 4. This would have been one-sided 3 years ago, it will be a stroll now.

Comment by WesleySnipes on 07-12-2014

Great even though i really dont give a f who Gamboa is fighting as long as he is fighting and not let us wait another 400 something days, great fight on paper some years ago but now it should be…

Comment by CubanGuyNYC on 07-12-2014

[QUOTE=PittyPat;14748787]Totally agree, and anyone who watched Lopez's fights before the Salido losses would know this. Even in the Lontchi fight he looked frustrated and fresh out of ideas when he couldn't put him away like nearly everyone before that fight.…

Comment by PittyPat on 07-12-2014

[QUOTE=CubanGuyNYC;14747942]I've always wondered if the Mtagwa fight is what really hurt JuanMa long-term. Everyone thinks of Salido as the guy that ruined him, and I don't disagree, but that Mtagwa fight almost killed Lopez. JuanMa showed amazing heart. He was…

Comment by ShoulderRoll on 07-11-2014

Crazy that this was once one of the most attractive fights in all of boxing. But Arum let it marinate into Bolivian.

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