By Ronnie Nathanielsz
UNDEFEATED World Boxing Association super featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa’s name has been added to the list of possible opponents of Manny Pacquiao for his scheduled return to the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 12.
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that he would meet with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum in Las Vegas on Monday and hopes to have a decision by Tuesday.
The two other opponents being considered are Timothy Bradley, who scored a hugely controversial split decision win over Pacquiao in June, 2012, and former Pacquiao sparring partner Ruslan Provodnikov, the World Boxing Organization light welterweight champion, who engaged Bradley in a brutal battle that was among the Fight of the Year candidates in 2013.
Also mentioned in passing was Robert Guerrero, who is currently involved in a legal battle with Golden Boy Promotions to try and get out of his promotional contract.
The Cuban defector, who fights out of Miami, Florida was an outstanding amateur boxer and won the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games as a flyweight and the gold medal at the World Cup in Azerbaijan in 2006 as a featherweight.
Gamboa is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Darleys Perez (29-0, 19 KOs) of Colombia in Quebec, Canada on June 8, 2013.
Prior to that, Gamboa scored a unanimous 12-round decision over Filipino southpaw Michael Farenas, who hurt Gamboa in the second round, but the Cuban came back to drop Farenas, a protégé of former two-division world champion Gerry Penalosa towards the end of the round and once again in the seventh.
Just when it looked like the referee would call a halt as Gamboa battered Farenas, the courageous Filipino caught Gamboa with a wicked left hook and dropped him after which Gamboa stayed out of trouble to win by margins of 118-108, 117-108 and 117-109 on the scorecards of the three judges.