By Rick Reeno
There appears to be healing process in the shaky relationship between Top Rank and former featherweight champion Yuriokis Gamboa. Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum had advised BoxingScene.com that Gamboa will be ringside at the MGM Grand on Saturday night, as Manny Pacquiao defends his WBO welterweight title against Timothy Bradley in the main event.
In the month of March, 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.
During the last few months, Gamboa was often seen in the company of Floyd Mayweather Jr., rapper 50 Cent, and other members of Mayweather's "Money Team." In fact, on the day Gamboa no-showed the first Rios press conference, he was spotted at Mayweather's gym in Las Vegas.
Arum believes Mayweather and members of his team were influential with Gamboa's decision to abandon the Rios fight.
"I think he realizes that those people are full of sh*t.....Mayweather, 50 Cent and all those people. They are going to have to pay damages," Arum said to BoxingScene.com.
BoxingScene broke the news on Wednesday that undefeated welterweight contender Jessie Vargas, formerly of Mayweather Promotions, had signed a contract with manager Cameron Dunkin and there is a lot of interest from Top Rank in signing him up.