Getting lost in the various shuffles, including the Saturday Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto NYC clash, and the Golden Boy divorce battle, is the June 28 lightweight showdown between Terence Crawford (23-0) and Yuriorkis Gamboa (also 23-0).
The Cuban was on a short list a couple years back as someone who could maybe pick up some market share, of popularity, and money, moving forward as some of the games' stars age out. His momentum stalled, with inactivity, some legal issues, some promotional issues…So there is not a small amount of interest to see if the 32-year-old Florida resident can shed rust, and get a W over a foe who might well be the best man he has stepped in with since turning pro.
This bout, promoted by Top Rank and 50 Cent, and unfolding in Crawford-ville, Nebraska, will screen on HBO.
I asked Gamboa for a camp update.
“I am working hard, as usual,” he said. “I am preparing myself for Crawford's long reach, his only weapon against me.”
So…hand speed. Power. Movement. Are yours better than his in all three areas?
“No. I am not saying that. All I am saying is that his reach is something that I have to be aware of and I am working on it. Speed, movement, he is excellent on those. I am not so bad myself! I can prepare myself to deal with everything. I cannot give myself longer arms. That is why I am working hard on that subject.”
And does he think Crawford is the best he has faced as a pro?
“Well, there comes a time in every boxers' life when you have to fight the best. I am ready to fight him. No excuses. It will be me or him. I cannot accuse other fighters of ducking me if I duck someone else.”
And will rust be an issue, being that you haven't fought in over a year?
“No rust whatsoever. I am ready to bring it. “
So…age hasn't affected your hand speed or agility?
“You will find out June 28!”
More than fair enough….Readers, what say you? Can Gamboa reset his career, show off that superlative talent which tantalized us a few years back?