By Rick Reeno
Early talks have taken place to have Celestino Caballero take on WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa on September 11 in Las Vegas. Gamboa was set to face WBC champion Elio Rojas in an HBO televised unification bout. Rojas injured his shoulder a few days ago and he's likely out of the fight, according to several sources close to the situation.
Caballero's promoter, Lou DiBella, spoke with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum about the possibility of having his fighter take Rojas' place against Gamboa. In an earlier report on BoxingScene.com, Caballero made a demand for a 50/50 split with Gamboa. While DiBella understands his fighter's position, he knows a 50/50 demand is not realistic. DIbella made, what he calls, "a very strong proposal" to Arum.
"I understand why Caballero feels he should receive 50/50. He's a double world champion and a pound-for-pound fighter and he accomplished more in his career than a lot of the other fighters in his division, but to get a fight with a guy like Gamboa you have to entice him. I made an offer to Arum, and it was not even close to a 50/50 deal. If my competitors knew the number [in Caballero's favor], they would say it's too low," DiBella told BoxingScene.com.
"Caballero wants the fight. Gamboa would get the bulk of the money. If they turn this offer down, there is no other explanation than Gamboa being scared to take the fight."
While DiBella would not disclose the number, a third-party advised BoxingScene that Gamboa [per DiBella's pitch] could possibly receive more than 60% of money on the table from HBO [which is rumored to be a seven figure amount].