Each undefeated boxers in the Top Rank stable will face off on Saturday, April 14 on HBO (ten:15 p.m. ET) for the empty WBA lightweight championship at Mandsalay Bay in Nevada.
Rios (29-0-1, 22 KOs), nicknamed “Bam Bam,”‘ could be the former WBA lightweight champ who had been removed of his title when he did not make weight as part of his last combat England’s John Murray. The Oxnard, Calif., fighter won anyway, scoring an eleventh-round technical knockout against Murray at Madison Square Garden past December.
Rios, 25, has won 10 of his previous eleven fights by knockout.
Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs), is really a former featherweight king who defected from Cuba in 2007 soon after receiving the gold medal in Athens in 2004. He now resides in Miami. He will jump up two weight classes just for this fight.
Gamboa, 30, nicknamed “The Cyclone,” has won eight of his previous eleven by stoppage. His last fight against Daniel Ponce de Leon last September ended on an 8th-round technical decision after Ponce de Leon Gamboa dealt with a gash on his forehaed from an accidental head butt and was struggling to fight on.
Gamboa is identified for his super quickness and explosiveness, whilst Rios is recognized for his punching ability and iron chin.
“Rios and Gamboa are two young and hungry fighters in their prime searching to produce a leap to stardom,” says Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank.
Says Ahmet Öner, president of Arena Box US: “Gamboa has been consistently known as ‘rising Cuban star’ all through his profession. But on April 14, the word ‘rising’ will finally be eradicated. Gamboa will probably be a superstar. He is so special and though he’s been combating at 126 pounds, 135 pounds is where he belongs. He is going to be so considerably more robust boxing at lightweight.”
Kery Davis, senior vp of programming at HBO Boxing Sports, says, “Both of those fighters deserve attention for stepping up and saying ‘let’s do it.’ “