By Miguel Rivera
Promoter Ahmet Oner of Arena Box is an expert in the area of Olympic champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-0, 16KOs). Gamboa turned pro with Oner in 2007 and fought several times in Germany before crossing over to the United States. Oner eventually brought him to Top Rank a few years later. Last year, Gamboa's mind became clouded after he began to hang out with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and The Money Team.
Gamboa began to believe that he was worth more money than others perceived him to be worth. He backed out from an April 2012 bout with Brandon Rios, where the Cuban boxer stood to make over $1 million dollars. Shortly afterwards Top Rank sued Gamboa for breach of contract.
In June 2012, a legal settlement was reached and Gamboa parted ways with Oner and Top Rank. He signed with rapper/promoter 50 Cent, who reportedly paid a million dollars to buy Gamboa out of his existing promotional contract.
"50 Cent is a great musician, but he does not know anything about boxing. I am convinced that Gamboa made a serious mistake by going with 50 Cent. Gamboa became champion, I took him to Top Rank, but he was left dazzled by fancy pay-per-view numbers before he was [able to achieve them]. He thought he was part of Floyd Mayweather's crew, that he was one of them. Now Gamboa is talking about [fighting] in Mexico because he wants to follow the path of Mantequilla? That was pathetic and it's a story that nobody buys," Oner told George Ebro.
"In these times, with the economy the way it is, nobody would turn down [a million dollar purse]. Even myself, right now, I would get on a ring for that kind of money, but a lot of people were in his ear whispering lies. I was at the [Gamboa vs. Rios] press conference in Miami and that was the beginning of the end of our relationship [when Gamboa no-showed]. Honestly, I think Gamboa was afraid of losing to Rios.''
"[Gamboa's last two fights] - disappointing purses, disappointing fights. A huge talent that is wasted by extreme greed and wants to live beyond his means. Gamboa does not respect the dollar. No one else is to blame for what is happening to him. This change of communism to capitalism is not easy for Cuban boxers.''Tags: Ahmet Oner , Yuriorkis Gamboa