On Saturday, November 15, former Olympic gold medalist and one-time pound-for-pound darling, Yuriorkis “El Ciclon de Guantanamo” Gamboa (23-1, 16 KOs) will be gunning to get his career back on track after getting derailed five months ago by Nebraska native, Terrence Crawford. Gamboa will be facing Joel “Joe” Montes de Oca (18-3, 10 KOs), a fighter who has not yet stepped outside of his native Mexico for a prize fight. Headling the card will be Cristian “El Diamante” Mijares (50-8-2, 25 KOs) taking on Lester Medrano (14-2-1, 9 KOs) of Nicaragua. The bouts will take place in the Plaza de Toros, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Prior to the Crawford loss, which was a WBO lightweight title bout, Yuriorkis’ career had gone from meteoric rise to several years plagued with inactivity. Managerial issues and contract disputes likely stole several top-notch performances from the Cuban star.
Gamboa went from fighting seven times a year in his professional debut in 2007 to five times in 2008 and down to four bouts in 2009. The 32 year-old caught the public eye in 2010 with outstanding performances against Rogers Mtagwa, Jonathan Berros and Orlando Salido.
In 2011, Yuriorkis Gamboa faced off against Jorge Solis for a pair of world featherweight titles. After halting the hard-hitting Mexican in the fourth frame, Solis commented that Gamboa hits harder than Manny Pacquiao (whom he also lost to by knockout some five years earlier).
Six months later, Gamboa would take on the tough and awkward Daniel Ponce De Leon. The fight would end in a technical decision in the Cuban’s favor as an accidental clash of heads was called after the fourth round.
From there on, the former amateur star would see his career come to a near standstill. He would have to settle for one fight a year until he was all but forced to move up in weight to face the rangy and quite crafty Terrence Crawford in 2014 – A bout that he probably should have never accepted.
Gamboa will have his chance to set things right, albeit at a later stage of his life. “I want the fans to know that i feel great. I’ve been training very hard for this fight – which I’m taking very serious -because I know the importance of ending the year on a positive note.”
“I am now fully focused on becoming king of the lightweight division, as well as hopefully being much more active in 2015, with my goal to fight three or four times next year. I am honored to fight in Mexico and I plan to fight there again in 2015.” – VIA RING ONLINE
The Yuriorkis Gamboa-Joel Montes de Oca fight will play co-feature to the Cristian Mijares-Lester Medrano main event. Mijares recently dropped a unanimous decision to Leo Santa Cruz, but bounced back to take a TKO victory over Sebastian Daniel Rodriguez some three months later.