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Gamboa wins fight, loses presser to Juanma
Lopez, Garcia steal spotlight at post-fight presser

Story & photos by Chris Cozzone

Could be, there’s a reason why Cuban sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa is so dour-faced.

Upon arriving at last night’s post-fight press conference, following his hard-fought-but-still-impressive title unification victory over Orlando Salido, 34-11-2, 22 KOs, the undefeated Gamboa, 19-0, 15 KOs, now holder of two featherweight titles (not quite half of the four top ABCs, Chris John being a WBA “superchamp” or “ultra-silver” or whatever they are calling their top belt-holders these days), arrived at the presser where he had to share the spotlight with rivals Miguel Angel Garcia and Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez.

“There’s a lot of talk about me fighting Juanma soon,” said Gamboa, unmarked from his rough dozen rounds with Salido. “I’ll leave it up to the promoters. I can only say I’m ready for the challenge.”

Surrendering the podium to Lopez, Gamboa spent most of the time at the abbreviated presser having to listen to future opponents.

“The fight’s been talked about a lot,” said Lopez. “But I’m ready whenever it comes. We saw some things tonight we can work with – our fight will be a war but the best guy will win.

“And that will be me.”

Though a Gamboa-Lopez fight already appears as imminent as another Floyd Mayweather public relations blunder, Lopez, 29-0, 26 KOs, has a date with ring great Rafael Marquez, 39-5, 34 KOs, on Nov. 6.

“It’s always been a dream to fight Marquez,” said Lopez. “But after I beat Marquez, whoever they want me to fight – [Celestino] Caballero or Gamboa – whoever.”

Lopez called the Gamboa-Salido fight “a real war.” “I always said Salido was a tough fight, a dangerous fighter,” said Juanma. “But I never doubted that Gamboa would beat him.”

Also taking attention away from Gamboa was undefeated Oxnard featherweight Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia, 23-0, 19 KOs, who also said he’d like a shot at “El Ciclon de Guantánamo.”

“I think I can take him,” said Garcia.

Future opponents were a-plenty at the press conference, though past foe, ex-champ Salido, had skipped out on the fun, preferring to have the cut over his left eye checked out.

“It was a great fight for the fans, a great war in the ring,” Gamboa said about his tussle with Salido. “It was one of my greatest fights. He was a very good opponent but I didn’t expect any less from him.”

Though coming close to losing by disqualification, when he hit Salido while down on the canvas, Gamboa dropped his man twice in the final around, to win with scores of 116-109, 114-109 and 115-109 before a crowd of 2,000 at the Palms in Las Vegas.

“Sometimes you hit them and they go down,” said Gamboa. “Other times, they just stand there. He was a great fighter and just took it.”

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