Yuriorkis Gamboa's team is denying reports that the Cuban standout will face Rocky Juarez in March. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Well this is a relief. David "Los Gatos" Rosenberg of BoxingScene.com says that Team Gamboa has denied rumors of a March fight against Rocky Juarez, which would have been a catchweight bout starting Gamboa's move up from featherweight.
It is expected that Gamboa (21-0, 16 KO) will be moving up to lightweight, although a potential clash with Top Rank stablemate Brandon Rios is more doubtful now that Rios and his team are figuring out whether to stay at 135 pounds with Victor Conte's help or just move up to 140 after the fighter failed to make weight for his December 3 win over John Murray.
But while Gamboa is untested above 126, the 31-year-old Juarez would have been a truly lousy opponent, and certainly would have been flat turned down by HBO, the network that has helped build Gamboa as the only type of "star" he can become, which is a premium cable regular.
Juarez (28-9-1, 20 KO) has gone 0-5-1 in his last six and hasn't often even been competitive. He hasn't won a fight since his 2008 comeback TKO of Jorge Barrios. He's been knocked down in each of his last three fights. Juarez never did come close to living up to his hype, and at this point he is a completely flamed out fighter. Gamboa, at 29, has great aspirations and all that -- a fight with Juarez is hardly befitting a phenom talent at this stage of his career.
Now all that said, keep in mind my thought process here comes from the idea that the fight would be televised. If Top Rank wants to put on a Gamboa vs Juarez fight and stream it on their web site, what the hell, I'll watch it. I know what happens, but I'll watch it. I just don't want to see TV budgets and time go to something like this. It's a waste and the money could be spent better elsewhere.