By David Finger
For Yuriorkis Gamboa (25-1, 17 KOs), the former Olympic gold medalist, two time world champion and current IBF #5 ranked junior lightweight, the long road back to the top may lead all the way to the junior middleweight division. Reports from the Gamboa camp indicate that they are “close” to an HBO fight with one of the biggest names in boxing: four time world champion Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs). Although Cotto’s last fight was in November of 2015 at middleweight, Gamboa and his advisor Zeferino Ramirez were excited about the opportunity to fight the legendary Puerto Rican.
“I want this fight!” Gamboa said of the proposed matchup. “I heard recently (Cotto’s) negotiations with Marquez have fallen through. I respect Cotto for all his accomplishments and for the courage he possesses but he’s never faced a fighter like me.”
Gamboa was dismissive of the size disadvantage as well, noting that Cotto was looking to fight at 150 pounds for his next fight.
“My advisor (Zeferino Ramirez) reached out to HBO letting them know that we want this and we have been told Cotto wants to return at 150,” Gamboa added. “So I will agree to fight Cotto at 150, but I will come in at a strong 144-145. Now it’s up to Cotto…if he’s up for the challenge!”
“I spoke to representatives of HBO and they would like to see the fight,” Ramirez added. “And I know the fans would love to see this fight. Right now everyone is on board. We are just waiting for Miguel Cotto to agree to the fight.”
“I’ve stepped up before to fight bigger fighters than me,” Gamboa added. “Because that’s what real fighters do…they fight!”
Ramirez was equally excited about the Gamboa’s chances against Cotto, even going so far as to challenge Cotto to sign on the dotted line.
“I’ve reached out to Roc Nation, to Dino Duva and to Eric Bottjer with no response or return call. In my opinion, that means they want nothing to do with the fight.” Ramirez added. “They’re trying to protect their fighter from what happened to Cotto when he faced a smaller fighter like Pacquiao. Both Gamboa and Pacquiao are comparable, they’re both 5’5, they possess speed, power, and throw multiple punch combinations that would pose a threat to a fighter like Cotto. Well, this is a direct challenge from team Gamboa to Miguel Cotto to face us.”
HBO would not comment on the proposed fight.