Folks, the Cold War between Top Rank and Golden Boy has ended. Or at least thawed.
Top Rank has announced that a September 10 fight between top featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa and Daniel Ponce de Leon is signed and official. The fight will be held at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall. HBO will televise the bout.
Gamboa (20-0, 16 KO) is coming off of a scintillating ass-whipping (there's no other way to put it) of Jorge Solis on March 26, while Ponce de Leon (41-3, 34 KO) stepped up to 130 pounds in his last fight and gave young Adrien Broner all he could handle, and in the minds of some, more than he could handle. Ponce de Leon lost the fight, but did not damage his reputation, as the fight was debatable on the scorecards and tough to call, unless you're judge Tony Crebs, who handed out a ridiculous 99-91 card for Broner.
Gamboa is promoted by Top Rank and Ponce de Leon by Golden Boy, marking the first time in years that the two U.S. giants will work together on a card. Both fighters shared early thoughts on the matchup in a Top Rank press release.
"I look forward to meeting Ponce de Leon. This will be the third straight world champion, or former world champion I have faced from Mexico," said Gamboa. "I know that Mexico has a great history of world champions, but so does Cuba. I welcome this chance I am getting to continue to prove I am one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. I will not disappoint my fans."
"Gamboa is a good fighter and I know this is going to be a difficult fight," said Ponce De Leon. "But I know this is a fight that I can win and I’m going to train hard in Los Angeles to leave the ring with my hand raised in victory. I will not leave any excuses for after the fight."
Most will likely peg Gamboa as being the heavy favorite here given his enormous advantage in speed, which wiped out Solis with ease in March. But Ponce de Leon is a heavy-handed southpaw who has made some adjustments since a one-round loss to Juan Manuel Lopez in 2008, becoming a more well-rounded fighter and making notable strides in both his offensive and defensive techniques.
For those interested in tickets to the fight, they'll be priced at $250, $100 and $50, go on sale this Friday, July 22, and can be purchased at the Boardwalk Hall box office, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or online at ticketmaster.com.