Depending on how everything plays out, Yuriorkis Gamboa could be a star in the next year or so. With potentially huge showdowns with WBO featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez and interim WBA king Celestino Caballero being rumored for the future, the Cuban standout has everything in front of him to make some serious noise in the sport. But before anything he needs to get past his September 11th test against well-traveled IBF champion Orlando Salido at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
In preparation for the contest Gamboa has relocated his training camp from Miami, Florida to the Tampa Fight Factory as he trains rigorously for his clash with Salido. The gym is well known because its most notable stable mate is none other than WBA Jr. Middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, who trained there for his contests against Manny Pacquiao and Yuri Foreman. Gamboa reportedly needed a deeper sense of seclusion while trying to get away from the distractions of South Florida and the WBA titlist made the 3-hour trek up north.
The 28-year old is reportedly putting in solid work for his fight next month and could be found sparring 24-2 lightweight Javier Castro last Thursday. It’s good to know that Gamboa is putting in his work but just as is the case in boxing, people will already be looking down the line when the bell rings towards a Caballero scuffle or a much bigger date with Lopez.
Gamboa was in line to face WBA champion Elio Rojas but the Dominican pulled out of the contest late last month, citing an injured shoulder. Caballero and his promoter Lou Dibella were looking to fill the void but Top Rank CEO Bob Arum opted to ride with Salido instead, leaving many in the sport disappointed. Caballero is rumored to be part of an HBO triple header on October 2nd and Dibella is still hopeful that the Panamanian can get a hold of Caballero early next year if both men are successful in their upcoming fights.
A Gamboa-Caballero clash is a fascinating one as it would pit Gamboa’s speed, sharp-punching and uncanny athletic skills against Caballero’s non-stop activity and tremendous range. Before anything can even be fathomed we need to see Gamboa get past Salido next month.
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Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at Trimond@aol.com