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Old 10-28-2011, 04:48 PM #1
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Default Rios-Gamboa Fantasy Fight Near Reality

Rios-Gamboa Fantasy Fight Near Reality

By Dan Rafael

Lightweight titlist Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios has firmly established himself as one of boxing's most exciting fighters. He makes no bones about the fact that he is a seek-and-destroy fighter with contact on his mind.

Featherweight star Yuriorkis Gamboa, who won a pair of belts before being unceremoniously stripped, is one of boxing's most electrifying fighters, a rare combination of speed and power who was a decorated member of the powerhouse Cuban national team. He won an Olympic gold medal in 2004 before defecting in 2007, and quickly rose to the top of the pro game.

Both promoted by Top Rank, they are now on a collision course, according to Top Rank president Todd duBoef.

It is indeed a sort of fantasy fight -- and one that could happen as soon as the middle of 2012, duBoef told

There is work to be done first, of course.

Rios (28-0-1, 21 KOs) is scheduled to defend his belt against England's John Murray (31-1, 18 KOs) on Dec. 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York in the co-featured fight on the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II HBO PPV telecast.

Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs) will also have an interim fight. Last month, he routed Daniel Ponce De Leon for a lopsided eight-round technical decision victory in his last fight at featherweight.

He is headed up to junior lightweight, and Top Rank is planning for his return in late January or early February, duBoef said. When Gamboa next fights, he will have Hall of Famer Emanuel Steward in his corner, after they made a deal this week.

"Gamboa is so naturally talented and has speed and coordination as good as any fighter I have seen," Steward said. "I'm looking forward to super fights with him, and one of the fights they're talking about is with Brandon Rios. That could be in our second fight. I think that is a great fight."

Top Rank isn't trying to draw out the number of fights Rios and Gamboa will take before facing each other. Perhaps Top Rank learned from company chief Bob Arum's plan to let Gamboa's much-anticipated featherweight showdown with Juan Manuel Lopez "marinate" too long. They were headed for a major unification fight, but Arum continued to milk them in one lesser fight after another. Lopez was then knocked out by Orlando Salido (a fighter Gamboa had previously beaten) in April in one of the upsets of the year, killing the match for the foreseeable future.

"Gamboa and his people say he wants to go to 135 pounds," duBoef said. "He wants one fight at 130 in January or February and then, assuming everything with Rios goes well [on Dec. 3], they would love to fight Rios in May or June. I've talked to the Rios people, and it's a fight that can be made."

Rios had planned to move up to junior welterweight sooner rather than later, but he loves the idea of the match with Gamboa and said he will stick around at 135 a little longer to see it come off.

"It feels great that Top Rank is talking about me and Gamboa," said Rios, who is training for the Murray fight in Mexico along with Margarito, with whom he shares trainer Robert Garcia. "So that's why I'm staying at 135 for the fight."
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:16 PM #2
GamboaGuy GamboaGuy is offline
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cant wait!!!! gamboa gona make him look 1 dimensional as all get out!!!
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