By Francisco Salazar
Junior lightweight contenders Yuriorkis Gamboa and Jason Sosa will square off on Nov. 25, Golden Boy Promotions announced Monday morning.
The 10 round bout will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City and will open a three-bout HBO telecast. In the main event, Sergey Kovalev and Vyacheslav Shabranskyy will battle in a 12 round bout for the WBO light heavyweight title.
Gamboa replaces Robinson Castellanos, who suffered a back injury during training camp last week.
Gamboa (27-2, 17 knockouts) has become a staple on HBO programming over the last couple of years. The Miami resident suffered his first defeat of his pro career at the hands of Terence Crawford, losing by knockout in June of 2014.
The 35 year-old Gamboa, who recently signed a promotional deal with Golden Boy, would win his next three bouts before suffering a shocking loss to Robinson Castellanos on May 5 in Las Vegas. In his last bout on Aug. 12, Gamboa won by unanimous decision over Alexis Reyes in a foul-filled bout.
“I’m excited for this great opportunity to fight Sosa on the undercard of Kovalev-Shabranskyy,” said Gamboa, who was born in Cuba. “A win over Sosa on HBO could push me back into title contention. I’m a fighter with many aspects and dimensions, and that’s what I’ll bring in my fight against Sosa. For my last fight, I wasn’t prepared well. This time, I will be very much prepared, so I can walk away with my hand raised.”
Sosa (20-2-4, 15 KOs), who resides in Camden, N.J., has not fought since his ninth round technical knockout loss to Vasil Lomachenko on Apr. 8.
In June of last year, Sosa scored the biggest win of his pro career, surviving a fifth round knockdown to knock out Javier Fortuna in round 11. With the win, Sosa won the WBA junior lightweight title.
Prior to the loss to Lomachenko, Sosa was unbeaten in 20 bouts.
“People think we have an easier opponent in Gamboa since Castellanos beat him, but we’re not buying into that,” said Sosa, who is promoted by Peltz Boxing.
“Maybe Gamboa didn’t take Castellanos seriously. We expect to see the very best Gamboa on Nov. 25. Having said that, this is not about who we are fighting; this is about why. We are fighting to make Puerto Rico proud after what all the people who live there have been though recently.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing