Former two-division champion Yuriorkis Gamboa is set to make another run at a world title, and finally has a major promoter backing him in Golden Boy Promotions after years of gross mismanagement all but wasted the prodigious champions’ prime.
Gamboa, who won titles at Jr. Featherweight and Featherweight, will try to make up for lost time in taking a fight against upset-minded Rene Alvarado as the chief support to the March 11 crossroads bout between David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens. The fight against Alvarado will only be the second fight in as many years for the inactive and aging former champion.
At one time, Gamboa was one of the hottest fighters in the game with his blistering offense and high-octane combinations. However, things took a change for the worse when Gamboa took his frustrations with former promoter Top Rank very publically in 2012 ahead of an aborted fight with then Lightweight champion Brandon Rios.
Gamboa instead signed with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s fledgling SMS Promotions to also find himself hindered by the abomination that promotional outfit was. Outside of his 2014 knockout loss to Terence Crawford in one of that year’s best fights, Gamboa has been trying to secure a big name in the ring while time has slipped him by.
Golden Boy Promotions signing Gamboa may open the doors for him as well as giving their ragtag roster some well needed clout seeing that outside of Saul Alvarez, Golden Boy is primarily made up of regional talent and unproven names.
A quick look at the neighboring divisions around Lightweight leave Gamboa with plenty of options should he get past Alvarado. The most high-profile fight that could be made would be against Vasyl Lomachenko at either 130 or 135 pounds, but there is also the winner of the rematch between WBC Lightweight champion Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla coming right around the corner.
Given Golden Boy’s willingness to work alongside other promoters and Gamboa’s insistence of returning to the ring, we may not have to wait too much longer for the 35-year-old Cuban to be in another meaningful fight. Whether or not we’ve seen the best of him is a discussion for another time.