Team Klassen React To Gamboa Fallout, News of Drug Arrest

By Elisinio Castillo

As previously reported, former world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (25-1, 17 KOs) was scheduled to snap a one-year layoff on Saturday night, as part of the undercard to a big event in Réunion Island, which is a French department in the Indian Ocean. The card was headlined by Alfonso Blanco defending his WBA interim-middleweight belt against hometown hero Hassan N'Dam.

Gamboa, who's been inactive since defeating Hylon Williams a year ago, was scheduled to fight South African Malcom Klassen (33-6-2, 17 KO's) - but at the last minute the fight fell apart.

According to multiple reports, police raided Klassen's hotel room and the found the fighter, his trainer, and a nurse - with illegal performance enhancing drugs in their possession. Klassen and his trainer were arrested and taken into custody to face charges.


Team Klassen sent a statement to to clarify the series of events that led up to the fallout with the local promoter and the local media in the country.

"We were signed to face Yuri Gamboa with two weeks notice. We arrived and made the contracted weight.  When Gamboa was weighed he was over by 1kg [2.2-pounds].  This was ignored and only after we complained and made Gamboa weigh again and checking that he was over, they said they would have a meeting to sort this out. This meeting never happened, as we were side-stepped and ignored by the promoter Sebastian Acaries," the statement read.

"Malcolm had worked hard to make weight and we found out after the weigh-in that he was dehydrated.  We went to the local clinic to get advice. When we got back to hotel,  the officials for anti-doping arrived and did a random check.  They found vials of vitamin B and magnesium.  They confiscated them to confirm the validity of the contents. Trainer Errol Saffy was questioned and so was Malcolm.  Malcolm was confirmed not guilty of any offense. Trainer Errol Saffy is awaiting the result of the [substance] test to prove his innocence."

"We were only informed of the fight being cancelled a half hour before the event started by another boxer... not even the promoter informed us. As of now we have no knowledge as to the reason for the cancellation. We feel the whole episode is a smoke screen to cover up Gamboa not making weight and was blown out of proportion by local media." 

As BoxingScene also reported, Gamboa was already facing a lot of tension this week, after his trainer Ismael Salas bailed on him - when photos were posted on social media that showed Gamboa training in France with Pedro Diaz - who happened to be there by chance as he's training N'Dam for the main event.

When Salas saw the photos, he refused to work any further with Gamboa and left the Cuban boxer hanging in the wind.

"Ismael was very annoyed with me and sent me a very strong message, barring me from entering his gym in Las Vegas and saying that it was better that I stay with Pedro," Gamboa explained.

"I don't think that's fair to me. I have been alone out here and Pedro has been helping me to make the weight. Thanks to him I have been able to prepare myself these days. What could I do? Pedro had offered me his hand from one Cuban to another Cuban.'

"I'm sure that there will be very good things coming up in 2017, but I can not say anything else for now. This incident has been very unfortunate with Salas, who like me is from Guantanamo. We should be together above anything."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Loque-san on 12-19-2016

So french police raided Klassen's hotel room to cover up Gamboa not making weight... And they really expect us to believe this? Usually when a fighter misses weight, either both camps reach an agreement or the fight is cancelled. It's…

Comment by KeyboardWarrior on 12-18-2016

[QUOTE=GMAN SUPREME;17290565]:rofl::rofl: what the hell is going on over there?[/QUOTE] Making someone out to be a drug cheat is some serious stuff. One side says its B vitamins and Magnesium, the other says you are carrying drogas. But that Ndam…

Comment by GMAN SUPREME on 12-18-2016

[QUOTE=KeyboardWarrior;17290521]Sounds like Gamboa lost Salas, didn't make weight and Klassens drug thing might be a coverup[/QUOTE]:rofl::rofl: what the hell is going on over there?

Comment by KeyboardWarrior on 12-18-2016

Sounds like Gamboa lost Salas, didn't make weight and Klassens drug thing might be a coverup

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