Yuriorkis Gamboa hadn't signed off on a fight with Terence Crawford early Tuesday afternoon, even though plans were in motion to do a press conference in the great state of Nebraska, Crawfords' homeland, on May 8.
“I haven't been notified of anything regarding a date with Crawford,” Gamboa told me. “I haven't even begun training camp. All I have been told was a few weeks ago that there is a possible fight between me and Crawford. I am looking forward to fighting a guy like him. It's not an easy fight, but I have been getting ready for this all my life.”
And he got that much more ready about an hour after that exchange, when at approximatley 1:30 PM ET he told me, “(My management) called me. The fight is a go. June 28th fight.”
Gamboa, the 32-year-old Cuban defector who has spent more time than I think he'd like dealing with promotional issues, said he hadn't seen anything put on paper for a bout against the slick WBO lightweight champ, and didn't want to get ahead of himself, as he did when he thought a fight versus Mikey Garcia was a semi-certainty.
A sampling of social media tells me lots of folks are liking the 26-year-old Omaha resident, who took his belt off Brit Ricky Burns on March 1 (UD12), and holds the same 23-0 (16 Kos) mark as the Cuban, to have his hand raised at the CenturyLink center in Omaha. They think he's fresher, and rust won't be a factor for him, as it might be for Gamboa, who last fought in June 2013 (UD12 win over Darleys Perez, and has fought four times in 3 1/2 years).
What about it, Mr. Gamboa…will your timing be off, will you need to shed a thick film of rust, or will you be able to click into a high gear ASAP?
“Rust is always an issue,” he admitted. “But I have been training and sparring. There is no easy route to be the best and I want to be the best. Rust is not going to be an excuse. I do not make excuses! Crawford is not a walk in the park. He is a difficult guy to fight, but I am confident that with proper training, I beat him.”