Gamboa to face Solis but John less likely
(AFP) – ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey — Yuriorkis Gamboa defends two world featherweight crowns on Saturday against Mexico's Jorge Solis but a possible showdown with fellow unbeaten Chris John of Indonesia looks unlikely.Cuban-born Gamboa, 19-0 with 15 knockouts, will defend his International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association titles against Solis, 40-2-2 with 29 knockouts, at Boardwalk Hall.Text:?
(AFP) – ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey — Yuriorkis Gamboa defends two world featherweight crowns on Saturday against Mexico's Jorge Solis but a possible showdown with fellow unbeaten Chris John of Indonesia looks unlikely.
Cuban-born Gamboa, 19-0 with 15 knockouts, will defend his International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association titles against Solis, 40-2-2 with 29 knockouts, at Boardwalk Hall.
"I want to improve my performances, collect all the belts I can, and reach that (elite) status," Gamboa said. "Basically I'll just showcase my talents and abilities like I always try to do and I'll come out with a victory."
Undefeated WBA "champion in recess" John, 44-0 with two drawn and 22 knockouts, is set to fight countryman Daud Cino Yordan in Jakarta on April 17.
The WBA last year ordered a fight between Gamboa and John and the plan was to have them fight later this year, Top Rank boss Bob Arum said last month, although Top Rank president Todd deBoef indicated Thursday it might not happen.
"We've reached out to the Chris John people numerous times for his availability," duBoef said. "There has been an undercurrent of him staying home in Indonesia because of his popularity there.
"Bringing him here would be more difficult. Right now Chris John has a very good market and he's inclined to stay home and take full advantage of his popularity in Indonesia."
John's only fights outside Asia came in a 2005 triumph in Australia and a draw with and victory over American Rocky Juarez in 2009.
DuBoef talked down the idea of Gamboa going to Indonesia, citing the time factor for a US television audience among the factors.
"I would probably say no to that," duBoef said. "I don't know for his overall appeal if that would be a good idea. We want to create more of an appeal in the US.
"No one can deny he has those natural gifts, speed and power. Our job has been getting him experience and working primarily on his marketability. People need to see him fight more often. His performances will captivate audiences."
Another possible Asian foe for Gamboa would be the other major title holder, World Boxing Council champion Hozumi Hasegawa of Japan, 29-3 with 12 knockouts.
"Definitely those are names people have mentioned as being the better ones," Gamboa said. "I am not afraid to climb in the ring with anyone. I would welcome the chance to beat either Hasegawa or Chris John."
But the name most often mentioned opposite Gamboa in America is World Boxing Organization featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez, a Puerto Rican southpaw who is 30-0 with 27 knockouts entering an April 16 defense against Mexican Orlando Salido.
"In reality, I don't feel rushed to make that fight," Gamboa said. "There has been a scene set for that fight. I don't want to keep talking about it if it's not going to come to fruition.
"JuanMa is one of the champions in our division. I can face another champion and gain another status. They keep talking
about it. It doesn't happen. I want to keep moving on and keep collecting belts and whatever happens happens."
That could open the doors for John or Hasegawa as promoters wait for the right moment to match Gamboa and "Juanma" against each other.
"We would welcome them to come to us. Those are both opportunities," du Boef said of the Asian fighters.
Gamboa trained for a week in Japan, leaving a week before the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the nation. He has stayed with boxing training regimen as he copes with life in America after being part of a group of top fighters who defected from Cuba.