Yuriorkis Gamboa has Brandon Rios in his sights, but may first face Roman Martinez in February. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Dan Rafael of ESPN tweeted earlier this evening that Bob Arum is considering a January 28 fight between lightweight titlist Brandon Rios and top featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa. Arum originally wanted to wait until summer 2012, but appears to be having some second thoughts about that whole "marinating" process that bit him hard when he was building into this year for Gamboa vs Juan Manuel Lopez.
But while that fight would be absolutely welcome by all boxing fans, since it's a great fight and a potentially explosive style clash, there are some issues. Obviously, Rios is fighting on December 3 against John Murray, and while he may not wind up taking a lot of major punishment in that one or anything, an eight-week turnaround is really not likely.
Ryan Burton of BoxingScene.com reports another potential scenario, which is to wait on the fight and have Gamboa return in February at 130 pounds in a fight with Puerto Rico's Roman "Rocky" Martinez. Martinez (25-1-1, 16 KO) last fought on October 1, overpowering Daniel Attah in six rounds. That was his first fight since September 2010, when he dropped a super featherweight belt to Ricky Burns in Scotland.
Gamboa vs Martinez is a decent fight, but a style matchup where I think you have to heavily favor the Cuban star. Martinez is slow of hand and foot, can be very sloppy in the ring, and while he's powerful, I think it's sort of a repeat, on paper, of Gamboa vs Daniel Ponce de Leon in September.
Even if it doesn't happen in January, which it probably will not, it does look like Rios vs Gamboa is a serious idea from Top Rank, and that's nothing but good news.