LOS ANGELES-Can you say lawsuit?
A small army of media descended from all parts of Southern California to attend the press conference for Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios and Cuba’s Yuriorkis Gamboa on Tuesday at the Biltmore Hotel.
Gamboa was not in attendance.
Top Rank had secured the almost 100-year-old hotel in the heart of downtown L.A. to hype the Rios (29-0-1, 22 KOs) and Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs) clash set for April 14 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The lightweight title and an added sack full of cash will be at stake.
“On February 16 we had an agreement with Gamboa,” said Todd DuBoef of Top Rank. “We’re adding a $100,000 fight bonus to the winner.”
According to sources, Gamboa was spotted in Las Vegas at Floyd Mayweather’s gym. Why he would not attend the press conference in L.A. or in Miami the day before was not explained.
“I went to Miami, I did my job,” said Rios, who exhibited a photo of Gamboa with words printed on it to the effect that Gamboa wants no part of the Oxnard-based prizefighter. “Gamboa is nowhere to be found. He’s afraid of me.”
Gamboa had openly sought a welterweight fight with Manny Pacquiao but without ever fighting as a lightweight, let alone welterweight, or possessing a strong fan base, that fight didn’t make sense. However, a win over Rios could be a catapult for the speedy Cuban who holds the WBA and IBF featherweight titles.
Rios is a very strong lightweight and perhaps unbeatable at 135-pounds. The only lightweight capable of beating “Bam Bam” is probably Father Time. It’s getting difficult as he gets older to cut weight. He’s more a junior welterweight and Gamboa might have been advised by somebody that he was taking on too much fighting Oxnard’s strong man.
“This coward never wanted to fight,” exclaimed Rios, chuckling a bit. “I’m ready. Let’s do it.”
DuBoef hinted that if Gamboa does not fight Rios than he’ll be fighting the powerhouse law firm of O’Melveny & Myers based in Los Angeles.
“If you make a contract you live up to it,” DuBoef said.
Other Fight Chatter
Riverside’s Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (18-1, 7 KOs) will be added to the April 14th card in Las Vegas. He’ll be facing Denver’s Mike Alvarado (32-0, 23 KOs) in a junior welterweight clash at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Herrera has been knocking off junior welterweight contenders the past three years and now faces his biggest test. A win for either fighter probably guarantees a world title shot.
IBF featherweight world titleholder Billy “The Kid” Dib ( 33-1, 20 KOs) of Australia fights Mexico’s Eduardo Escobedo (32-3, 23 KOs) on Wednesday March 7. Dib’s second world championship defense takes place in Tasmania. Escobedo knocked out dangerous Joksan Hernandez last July to win the title bid.
Keisher McLeod-Wells (4-2) fights Patricia Alcivar (5-0, 3 KOs) in a junior bantamweight contest on Wednesday, March 7. Their scheduled six round match takes place at BB King’s Blues Club and Grill in New York City. DiBella Entertainment is promoting the show.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV