Gamboa: No Pressure On Me, Don't Feel Back is Against the Wall

By Keith Idec

NEW YORK – Yuriorkis Gamboa doesn’t feel any additional pressure to beat Jason Sosa on Saturday night.

His critics consider Gamboa past his prime, unable to regain his championship form, but that doesn’t faze the three-division champion. The 2004 Olympic gold medalist is confident he can conclude what thus far has been a difficult year for him by beating the rugged Sosa (20-2-4, 15 KOs) in their 10-round super featherweight fight in The Theater at Madison Square Garden (HBO).

“All fights are important to me, especially this one, because I wanna continue with my career and I wanna look impressive,” Gamboa told through a translator. “I don’t feel any pressure. I don’t feel like my back is against the wall. Every time I train to win. I’m gonna win, so there’s no pressure. There’s no fight with anyone that I cannot come to win. So any fight, I’m gonna come to win.”

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The 35-year-old Gamboa beat Mexico’s Alexis Reyes (15-3-1, 7 KOs) in his last bout, but only won by majority decision after having three points deducted during that 10-round fight for illegal tactics. Gamboa (27-2, 17 KOs) was dropped twice in his previous fight and lost to Mexico’s Robinson Castellanos (24-13, 14 KOs) by technical knockout when he refused to come out of his corner for the eighth round May 5 in Las Vegas.

He defeated Rene Alvarado in his first fight of the year, but Nicaragua’s Alvarado (27-8, 19 KOs) knocked down Gamboa in the 10th and final round of that match March 11 in Verona, New York.

The loss to Castellanos was particularly tough for Gamboa, who before that fight had lost only to Terence Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs), perhaps the best boxer, pound-for-pound, in the sport.

“[Before] that fight, I was very high in weight,” Gamboa said. “I could barely eat at all and I felt very fragile. But I had already made the commitment to fight at a certain weight [133 pounds], and I killed myself to make it. So I wasn’t my best in that fight.

“I learned from that mistake and I have concentrated a lot more on this fight than I was back then. Now I’m focused, my diet’s good and I’m good for this fight.”

Gamboa replaced Castellanos as Sosa’s opponent when Castellanos pulled out of the fight with a back injury.

The Sosa-Gamboa bout will be the first of three fights HBO will broadcast, beginning at 10 p.m. ET Saturday night. It’ll be followed by a 10-round light heavyweight fight that’ll send Cuba’s Sullivan Barrera (20-1, 14 KOs) against the Dominican Republic’s Felix Valera (15-1, 13 KOs).

In the main event, Russia’s Sergey Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) will battle Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (19-1, 16 KOs) in a 12-round fight for the vacant WBO 175-pound championship, one of the three titles Kovalev lost to Andre Ward a year ago.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Dr.Cool on 11-26-2017

I honestly hadn't heard anything about Gamboa since he got popped for peds and then lost to Crawford. I guess he can still make some more money fighting, but every fight he takes is one fight closer to showing signs…

Comment by slimPickings on 11-25-2017

Gamboa's best days are behind him..sadly.

Comment by Disturbed on 11-25-2017

Gamboa had great odds so had to put a little bit of money for him, but honestly, dont know if he will even win. Years ago, I think he would have easily dominated Sosa, but Gamboa just isnt what he…

Comment by MrClutch85 on 11-25-2017

If Gamboa lose to Sosa he's done the last guy he fought he should have dominated him.

Comment by AdonisCreed on 11-25-2017

Gamboa by KO!!! Jason Sosa is a good fighter but the Gamboa of years past will come back strong!!! And send a message to the entire division whatever division he is in!! Lol hahaha (super featherweight).... ...... I hope this…

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