Posts Tagged ‘Yuriorkis Gamboa’

Quick Jabs: Donaire-Mares bout in limbo, Gamboa to escape punishment

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Nonito Donaire

Golden Boy Promotions is trying to get Nonito Donaire (above) and Abner Mares in the ring together. (AP)

Golden Boy Promotions ratcheted up its pursuit of a fight between super bantamweights Nonito Donaire and Abner Mares this week, submitting a contract to an attorney for Top Rank, which promotes Donaire, for a guaranteed $3 million purse for the fight. That money — however it is split between Donaire, Top Rank and manager Cameron Dunkin — would be a record purse for Donaire. Unfortunately, it’s not enough. I’m told Top Rank has no interest in the offer. It prefers Donaire fight in April, on HBO; the contract gives Golden Boy the ability to hold the fight as late as June 30. It also states that should the fight need to be postponed, Golden Boy has the right to reschedule it within 90 days or cancel it outright, provisions Top Rank isn’t willing to live with.

Instead, Top Rank plans to move ahead with an April 13 date for Donaire and match him against either super bantamweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux or former bantamweight champion Vic Darchinyan.

Personally, I think this is all pretty stupid. If scheduling is the biggest issue — and forget the network issue, if Golden Boy is putting up close to $5 million between Donaire and Mares, it’s a safe bet it winds up on HBO — then shame on the promoters for not finding a common ground. And according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, it’s not. Schaefer told me on Wednesday that he has “all the flexibility in the world” when it comes to changing the date and that he personally sent an email to HBO letting network executives know he had no intention of squeezing them out, that he would take the best financial offer for the fight, regardless of the network.

“What usually happens when you get a $3 million offer is you come back with comments,” Schaefer said. “If we can do this or that, we have a deal. But it just doesn’t seem like they want the fight. I’m going to keep trying. I’m going to keep pursuing until [Top Rank] announces something. Then, I’ll move on.”

• One of the names published in a scathing Miami New Times report  connecting athletes to a company that allegedly provided steroids and other performance enhancing drugs was that of Yuri Gamboa, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist and current super featherweight contender. But while Major League Baseball investigates the players who were named in the report, Gamboa has nothing to worry about. That’s because boxing — with one of the worst drug testing systems of any major sport — will not retroactively punish a fighter, nor will it do any kind of investigation. In fact, if Gamboa, who tested clean after his December fight in Nevada, has been using something, there is little incentive for him to stop. Clearly, the arcane testing by state athletic commissions isn’t catching him.

• Brian Kenny has been a superb addition to Showtime’s broadcasts. Kenny is a pro’s pro, a skilled interviewer and an excellent host.

• Heavyweight contender Tyson Fury is close to a deal that will match him with former cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham on April 20 at Madison Square Garden. The fight will be an afternoon show broadcast nationally on NBC. Cunningham’s wife and manager, Livvy, told me that while they do not have an official offer — and though they prefer a fight with Alexander Povetkin — they were interested in a Fury fight. Cunningham, of course, is coming off a controversial loss to Tomasz Adamek in December.

• One of the names I’m hearing for the Cunningham-Fury undercard is Curtis Stevens, who is coming off a spectacular first round knockout of journeyman Elvin Ayala last month.

• Boxing Scene has an interesting post detailing how the WBA and former middleweight champion Felix Sturm colluded to avoid forcing Sturm to defend his title against Gennady Golovkin.

• Last week, heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings told SI.com he was out of a proposed March 9 date on NBC Sports Network. Jennings said the money he was being offered was the same as what he made last January, when he made his television debut. Main Events CEO Kathy Duva denied that the offer was the same, telling me that it was, in fact, double what Jennings made in his first fight.

• Can Sergey Kovalev fight again soon? Please?

• I can understand Zab Judah’s frustration with the postponement of his Feb. 9 fight against Danny Garcia, but accusing Garcia of faking an injury is just dumb. Injuries during training happen, unfortunately, and Judah himself has experienced them: In 2008, Judah fell in a bathroom, a fall that opened a gash on his arm and forced the cancellation of a fight against Shane Mosley. Garcia-Judah has been rescheduled for April 27.

• Lucas Matthysse’s spectacular first round knockout of an overmatched Mike Dallas Jr. will only enhance his reputation as the most feared fighter in boxing. While Matthysse wants a fight with Danny Garcia, expect Showtime to try to lure him back into the ring quickly, possibly as early as March.

• Paging Vernon Paris.

• Johnathan Banks wasn’t too excited when Seth Mitchell exercised the immediate rematch clause in his contract following Banks’s knockout win over him in November. Banks wanted to take an interim bout, preferably against Alexander Povetkin, before facing Mitchell again. But at a recent public workout, Banks sounded like a fighter who has found motivation.

“Mitchell has contradicted himself,” Banks said. “Right after the fight he was very humble, gave me respect for the win and said he was going to have to go back to the drawing board, work his way back to the position he was in. Now I hear him saying things like ‘I didn’t win the fight or knock him out because I was the better man that night,’ and that it was his mistakes that were the cause of the loss. I find that to be out of character for this guy who seemed to be humble and respectful of me as a fighter prior to the first fight. When I lost to [Tomasz] Adamek as a cruiserweight, I lost. I can see [Mitchell] coming for the knockout this time. He says he is going to be different this time. I believe he will be.

– Chris Mannix


  • Published On Jan 30, 2013
  • Quick jabs: Ricky Hatton comes back, Amir Khan finds new trainer, more

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    Former two-division world champion Ricky Hatton (above), who announced a comeback last week, might be an attractive opponent for compatriot Amir Khan. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • How much money did Miguel Cotto leave on the table when he passed on a rematch with Manny Pacquiao? According to Bob Arum, a lot. Arum said Cotto’s guarantee for a Dec. 1 date with Pacquiao would have been around $13 million, with the possibility of going as high as $15 million if the pay-per-view numbers were strong. Instead, Cotto will settle for significantly less in a fight with unknown junior middleweight Austin Trout while Arum signed Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth fight with Pacquiao by guaranteeing just $6 million.

    • HBO was thrilled with the rating it got for the heavily promoted Sept. 8 showdown between Andre Ward and Chad Dawson. According to the Neilsen numbers, Ward-Dawson attracted 1.3 million viewers, the sixth straight World Championship Boxing telecast exceeding 1 million viewers for HBO.

    • Here’s my one and only thought on the proposed partnership between Manny Pacquiao and 50 Cent: I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • I’m fully expecting a rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez to take place early next year. Chavez Jr. wants it and Martinez isn’t going to sniff that much money against anyone else. Hopefully Chavez will take his training a little more seriously next time. He has the talent to beat Martinez but he has to be in peak condition both mentally and physically if he expects to have a shot against a fighter as fast and skilled as Martinez.

    • At 33, comebacking Ricky Hatton probably has one more big fight left in him. And perhaps the biggest one of his career could be out there: Amir Khan. They haven’t invented a word for how big Hatton-Khan could be in England and after a tune-up or two both could be ready for it.

    • Little tired of strength coach Alex Ariza taking to Twitter and passive aggressively implying that a fighter would have done better had he been more involved. In the aftermath of Chavez’s loss to Martinez, Ariza, who had reduced role in Chavez’s camp this time around, in a Q&A with his followers, suggested that Chavez would have performed better had he followed his diet and that Chavez was “not in my kind of shape.” It’s not the first time Ariza has done this and it’s getting a little old.

    • Arum says he plans on bringing welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley back in December. Possible opponents include Ruslan Provodnikov, Zab Judah, Lamont Peterson and Robert Guerrero. Guerrero is under contract with archrival Golden Boy but Arum told a handful of reporters last week that Bradley-Guerrero was a fight he would really like to make.

    • Hasim Rahman, who held the WBC heavyweight title for a year between 2005 and ’06, is getting another crack at a world title. Rahman, 39, will travel to Germany to take on Alexander Povetkin on Sept. 29 in a fight that will be televised in the U.S. on Epix.

    • Predictably, the Adrien Broner-Antonio DeMarco negotiations are progressing slowly. Broner, who is represented by influential and divisive manager Al Haymon, wants the lion’s share of the money and DeMarco isn’t willing to give it to him. Like I’ve said before: Fight each other or don’t fight anyone else in your weight class on premium TV.

    • How much did it cost 50 Cent to pry Yuri Gamboa away from Top Rank? That would be $1.2 million. From what I hear from Top Rank officials, that’s just about how much the company invested in Gamboa.

    • The always entertaining Gabriel Rosado (20-5) is back in action on Friday night, when he headlines the next installment of NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night series against Charles Whittaker (38-12-2). This is a big fight for Rosado: If he wins, he becomes the No. 1 contender for the IBF junior middleweight title held by Cornelius Bundrage.

    • While we all wait (and wait, and wait) for Pacquiao-Mayweather, it’s clear Arum is setting up the winner of next month’s junior welterweight fight between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado as the next opponent for Pacquiao. Rios-Alvarado is expected to be a war, which should give the winner a nice bounce going into a Pacquiao fight.

    • Showtime has to be pleased with the numbers for Saul Alvarez-Josesito Lopez on Saturday. According to Neilsen ratings, Alvarez-Lopez attracted 1.04 million viewers. Still, that’s a 42 percent drop from Alvarez’s HBO-televised fight against Kermit Cintron in November 2011, which drew 1.47 million viewers.

    • Amir Khan is reportedly set to name Virgil Hunter, best known for training super middleweight champion Andre Ward, as his new coach. That’s a good call. Hunter has a brilliant boxing mind who believes hit-and-don’t-get-hit is the only philosophy a fighter should live by. For a shaky-chinned fighter like Khan, that’s the best kind of trainer.

    • Speaking of Ward, cross Mikkel Kessler off the list of potential next opponents. Ward had expressed interest in a rematch with Kessler — whom he picked apart over 11 lopsided rounds in 2009 — but Kessler elected to face 37-year old Brian Magee, who owns a minor super middleweight title. It’s just as well: Ward-Kessler would have created no buzz in the United States.

    • Last week, Arum spent a lot of time talking to reporters about junior middleweight prospect John Jackson, even going as far as to say Jackson would get a televised slot on the Pacquiao pay-per-view telecast. But on Saturday, Jackson (13-1) ran into another pretty good prospect, the Jack Loew-trained Willie Nelson (19-1-1), who beat him in a close decision. Jackson still has potential and a lot of power (12 knockouts) but needs to polish his game so he can out box fighters he can’t knock out.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 18, 2012
  • Quick jabs: Andre Ward, Gennady Golovkin, Adrien Broner making news

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    Manny Pacquiao (above), who fell to No. 3 in SI.com’s most recent pound-for-pound ratings, might not fight again in 2012 according to Top Rank’s Bob Arum. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • Expect to see Andre Ward, fresh off last weekend’s impressive knockout win over Chad Dawson, in Las Vegas this Saturday at the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez middleweight title fight. Ward is eyeballing the winner for his next fight. Just don’t expect Ward, a 168-pound super middleweight, to drop too close to the 160-pound middleweight limit. Ward’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, told me Ward might be willing to cut “a couple of pounds” but no more than that. Nor is Ward all that interested in moving all the way up to 175 pounds, either. Hunter believes anyone who wants a crack at Ward should have to fight him at his weight.

    • So much for TMT Promotions — a company founded this summer by rapper 50 Cent and believed to involve Floyd Mayweather — making a big splash. While TMT is still in the hunt for a November date on HBO, nothing is close to being finalized. Moreover, 50 Cent has indicated in recent interviews that his relationship with Mayweather isn’t as strong as it used to be. That’s not good news for Andre Dirrell, Yuri Gamboa and Billy Dib, fighters who have signed to TMT but don’t appear to have many options before the end of the year.

    • After watching Tomasz Adamek get knocked down and struggle in an eventual fifth-round knockout of journeyman Travis Walker, you have to wonder just how much the 35-year old Adamek has left in the tank. In the last year Adamek has been battered by Vitali Klitschko, gone the distance in wins over Nagy Aguilera and Eddie Chambers, and been life and death with Walker. Adamek has fought some wars in his career; now, they might be catching up with him.

    • When Zsolt Erdei withdrew from his Sept. 29 fight with Isaac Chilemba, one solution was to take Chilemba off promoter Lou DiBella’s HBO-televised show and move him to a Main Events-promoted Sept. 21 card on NBC Sports Network. Main Events had been searching for a replacement for Gabriel Campillo, who withdrew from a fight with Sergey Kovalev, which would have headlined the NBC show. DiBella and HBO, however, wanted Main Events to give up Kovalev and have him fight Chilemba on HBO. But because boxing promoters get along about as well as a divorced couple, Chilemba stayed on DiBella’s card, where he will fight a yet to be named opponent on the untelevised undercard, while Kovalev will face unheralded Lionel Thompson on the NBC card. No one wins.

    • I still think that from a marketing perspective, Kelly Pavlik makes the most sense for Andre Ward.

    • If HBO can’t make Adrien Broner-Antonio DeMarco in November, I don’t want to see either of them on television. The network has invested millions in Broner, who has looked great plowing over a collection of stiffs. And DeMarco, who knocked out John Molina in less than a minute on Saturday, told me that he is ready, willing and able to fight Broner in November. Make it happen, or don’t give them the platform or the money to fight someone else.

    • Look for scintillating middleweight Gennady Golovkin to be back in the ring before the end of the year; just don’t expect it to be a unification fight against Daniel Geale. There’s a strong interest from HBO to make Golovkin-Geale but the sense I’m getting is that it’s more likely to happen in the spring of 2013.

    • No one at 140 pounds wants a piece of Lucas Matthyse. No one.

    • Spent some time talking to several people in Manny Pacquiao’s camp this week and no one can say with any certainty whether Pacquiao will fight again this year. Top Rank is still holding the Dec. 8 date but it is waiting to hear from Pacquiao.

    • During its broadcast last weekend, HBO incorrectly identified Ward as the last U.S. Olympic boxing gold medalist. Ward is the last men’s boxing gold medalist. The last gold medal won by a USA boxer was claimed by Claressa Shields, the 17-year old phenom who picked up middleweight gold in London.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 11, 2012
  • 50 Cent entering boxing promotion, expected to sign Yuriorkis Gamboa

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    Rapper 50 Cent (second from right), a longtime friend of Floyd Mayweather, is launching a promotional outfit that’s said to include Yuriorkis Gamboa (right). (AP)

    NEW YORK — Rapper 50 Cent is getting into the boxing promoting business.

    The platinum selling artist, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, has founded TMT Promotions — short for The Money Team — which has been licensed in New York and, according to Nevada state athletic commissioner Keith Kizer, is in the process of applying for a license in Nevada.

    In addition to working with longtime friend and pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, industry sources say TMT Promotions is expected to sign former featherweight title holder Yuri Gamboa and super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell.

    A call to Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe was not immediately returned.

    Last April, Mayweather hinted during a conference call to promote his fight against Miguel Cotto that Jackson would be getting involved in boxing.

    “I think he’s going to be involved on the promotion side,” Mayweather said. “We may even put him out there, let him fight on pay-per-view one time. So we don’t really know what the future holds, but he is getting involved with boxing.”

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Jul 20, 2012
  • Gamboa-Rios in jeopardy after no-show

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    Yuri Gamboa

    Yuri Gamboa's trainer has 'no idea' why he missed Monday's press conference in Miami. (Martin Rose/Getty Images)

    The highly anticipated April fight between Brandon Rios and Yuri Gamboa is in jeopardy and frankly, no one knows why. On Monday, Gamboa was a no-show for his press conference in Miami to promote the bout, a press conference his promoter, Top Rank, says Gamboa specifically asked for.

    “I’m totally confused,” said Gamboa’s trainer, Emanuel Steward. “I called [co-promoter] Ahmet Ohner and he told me he was having problems. What I gathered from Ahmet is that he doesn’t have much control over the situation. He seemed very frustrated.”

    Steward, who just returned from training unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, said the plan was for him to begin working with Gamboa after Andy Lee’s fight on March 10th. Now, Steward reiterated, “I have no idea what is going to happen.”

    Complicating the situation is the possible involvement of Floyd Mayweather. On Monday night David Levi, Mayweather’s personal assistant, posted a picture on Twitter of Gamboa working out at Mayweather’s boxing gym. Last month Roger Mayweather reportedly told boxingscene.com that Gamboa had signed a promotional deal with Mayweather Promotions.

    Top Rank President Todd duBoef says that not only does Gamboa have an ironclad promotional contract with Top Rank, but the two sides recently agreed to an extension.

    Top Rank issued a press release Monday confirming Tuesday’s scheduled press conference in Los Angeles to promote Rios-Gamboa will go on as planned.

    Said duBoef, “We’re expecting him to be there.”

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Mar 05, 2012
  • Hard-hitting Yuriorkis Gamboa plots future

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    LAS VEGAS — Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward has a message for anyone at 130 pounds: Watch out for Yuri Gamboa.

    “He is so gifted and coordinated, it’s phenomenal,” said Steward, who was hired to replace Ismael Salas as Gamboa’s trainer last month. “He can be electrifying. He has the makeup of a champion, and I like that.”

    Over the years, Steward has developed a reputation as a jab master, built largely on the success of heavyweight champions Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko. Though Steward says he will work on Gamboa’s jab, he doesn’t expect to make any major changes.

    “I like knockouts,” Steward said. “I got that [jab master] label because of Wladimir but as a rule I like knockouts. You need a jab, I don’t care how old you are or tall you are. I want to improve his left hook a little. I want to get him to turn it like Miguel Cotto or Julio Cesar Chavez. I’ll show him a few trick moves and then leave him alone. Anything I can dream of, he can do. Some guys you dream of them doing things and they can’t. Not him.”

    Steward says Gamboa’s next fight will be in January at 130 pounds. Steward says he would like Gamboa (21-0) to stay at 135 for a few fights before making the jump to 135.

    “I think 135 is about it,” Steward said. “He’s only 5-5. And when you fight at 135, a lot of guys come in at 150.”

    One fight that Gamboa’s promoter Top Rank has said they are interested in is a matchup with 135-pound champion Brandon Rios. However Steward says he is not interested in that fight.

    “I don’t like that fight right now,” Steward says. “Gamboa needs a few fights at 130. Besides, they are both big stars in the sport. We have such a shortage of young fighters. All of the stars are in their 30’s. We need to take time to develop young superstars and not just run them out and have them fight each other so quickly. It’s not good for the business.”

    There is a big fight for Gamboa at 130 pounds: Adrien Broner, the former U.S. amateur standout who will fight for a vacant super featherweight title on Nov. 26. Both Gamboa (16 knockouts) and Broner (17 KO’s) have tremendous power. A matchup in the spring of 2012 would be a spectacular fight.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Nov 16, 2011
  • Gamboa could have looked better

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    Yuriorkis Gamboa (above) cruised to a technical-decision victory over Daniel Ponce de Leon in Atlantic City. (Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

    ATLANTIC CITY — Three quick thoughts on Yuri Gamboa’s win over Daniel Ponce de Leon.

    • Gamboa looked good. He could have looked better. Gamboa showcased all his talents on Saturday: speed, power, speed (worth mentioning twice) and an improved defense. He outclassed Ponce de Leon in every possible way. But he didn’t seem interested in taking too many chances. Maybe he was wary of Ponce de Leon’s power, maybe he was trying to prove he was a well-rounded boxer and didn’t need to recklessly charge in. Kudos to Gamboa for a dominating win but it would have been nice to see him take more of the openings Ponce de Leon — who is very limited defensively — was giving him.

    • Moving up to 130 pounds … and beyond. Gamboa and his co-promoter, Ahmet Ohner, both said this was his last fight at featherweight. While that rules out a showdown with longtime featherweight titleholder Chris John, it does open up some interesting possibilities. Adrien Broner is really the only marketable opponent at 130 pounds — fat chance Golden Boy puts their prized American prospect in with Gamboa anytime soon, either — but at 135 pounds, there are options. Juan Manuel Marquez is the undisputed top dog at lightweight, though there are no guarantees he will go back there after his welterweight fight with Manny Pacquiao. Brandon Rios is an extremely appealing possibility, while a Kevin Mitchell or Ricky Burns fight would probably do well overseas. Then there is fellow featherweight Juan Manuel Lopez, who could be ready to move up soon as well. A Lopez-Gamboa fight has been talked about for a long time and would be a huge fight in New York City.

    • Ponce de Leon wanted out. Officially, this was a medical stoppage. Unofficially, it sure looked like Ponce de Leon didn’t want any more of Gamboa. Certainly, a cut on the forehead can affect a fighter: blood trickles down into your eye and you can’t pick up the punches. But as cuts go, this one didn’t appear that bad. The bleeding had stopped by the time the judges read the scores. I spotted Ponce de Leon in the hotel lobby after the fight and he didn’t have any kind of bandage on. This was a huge opportunity for Ponce de Leon and even though he was down on the scorecards, he has the one-punch power to win the fight. The doctor’s decision is the doctor’s decision but it would have been nice to see Ponce de Leon act like he wanted the fight to continue.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 11, 2011


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