Unbeaten WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (15-0, 13 KOs) of Cuba is ready to make a statement in his title defense against challenger Whyber Garcia (22-6, 15 KOs) of Panama on Top Rank’s “Island Warriors” – Latin Fury 12 Pay Per View event this Saturday at Madison Square Garden. “I did not lose focus in preparation for this fight because I know that without winning this fight I can’t get to the bigger fight, Juan Manuel Lopez being one of them,” stated Gamboa. “I am completely focused on training for this fight and I am going to do everything possible to keep moving along and keep my record going. I am going to be able to show off my skills, talents and abilities to the world. If I were him, I would want to take notice.”
On fighting at The Garden:
I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to fight in a place where so many world champions have fought and so many storied fights in the history of the sport and to give me the opportunity to perform there…..I know the importance of it and I know the significance of Madison Square Garden and the story of it and what it means to a Latin fighter and not just a Puerto Rican fighter. There have been many instances where non-Puerto Rican fighters have fought in the Garden and he has received that same support from Puerto Ricans or any Latinos alike. I am very aware of it.
On the progress of his career:
Obviously I am very happy because I have satisfied every goal that I have set for myself. But the problem here is that I have many more goals to accomplish and I won’t be fully satisfied until I reach all of them.
His impression of Juan Manuel Lopez:
I think that any fan of boxing, and I include myself a fan as well, he has God-given ability and you can’t deny that. He became world champion because of those attributes and I recognize those skills and I think a fight between JuanMa and me would make for a great fight.
I plan to stay here at 126 lbs, I want to make a name for myself at 126 and once I make a name for myself at this division I will seek to go up a category or two. Chris John is a name that interests me, I saw him fight against Rocky Juarez and I know that he just beat him and is considered a super champion with the WBA. If Rafael Marquez ever wants to consider a move up like Juan Manuel Lopez is, I think that would be a great battle between Rafael Marquez as well. Any champion that has made a name for himself and wants to challenge me or me to challenge them, I am here for the task.
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Top Rank President Todd duBoef is excited about the prospects of the Olympic gold medalist who is co-promoted by Top Rank and Arena Box-Promotion. “I think when everybody saw Gamboa the first time, the first time you saw him on television you saw how exciting he was. He has very much a Trinidad-esque charisma.”
Also on this doubleheader championship card, world champion Juan Manuel Lopez (26-0, 24 KOs) takes on challenger Rogers Mtagwa (26-12-2, 18 KOs) in defense of his belt. Top Rank promotes this event in association with Arena Box-Promotion and PR Best Boxing.