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Juan Manuel Lopez still wants to make a fight with Yuriorkis Gamboa. Does it still have much relevancy?
A couple of years ago, a match between Juan Manuel Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa was one of the most sought after fights in all of boxing. Each man was an undefeated featherweight titlist with shaky chins to go along with their heavy hands and boxing skills. Now, with both men up a weight class and coming off serious adversity from the previous year, the fight doesn't have nearly the same demand that it once did.
Both fighters are coming back from a rough 2012. Lopez lost to Orlando Salido in '11 and '12, while Gamboa basically went into hiding after no-showing a press conference for a scheduled fight with Brandon Rios. Lopez recently returned with a stoppage win over Aldimar Silva Santos, while Gamboa had to get off the canvas to decison Michael Farenas on the undercard of the fourth Manny Pacquiao - Juan Manuel Marquez fight. By this point each man is what he is: flawed and fun (well, for us anyways).
Now on the comeback trail, Lopez is still interested in doing battle with Gamboa, and recently had this to say about a possible fight between the two, via Boxing Scene:
"If Gamboa can hear me, I have to say that this is a fight that all of the fans have wanted to watch since the days when he and I were both champions. We still have time, but it would have to be at 130 pounds. I've always admired Gamboa as a boxer and as a human being, and I think he and I are willing to give the public what it wants. There is no reason that his camp and mine can not reach an agreement and draw people to that old mystery to figure out which of us is better in the ring," Juanma told George Ebro.
Gamboa has had a tough time trying to find a big-name opponent. As mentioned, he had the fiasco last year with Rios, and this year he was reportedly in negotiations to fight welterweight Tim Bradley. Gamboa has also discussed wanting a shot at lightweight champion Adrien Broner, but that doesn't appear likely.
I think the fight would actually make sense for each man. It's not the super-fight it could have been (relatively speaking), but it would still be a big deal. Most important;y, it's a winnable fight for each man, one where they wouldn't have to leave their own weight class either. It's also a fight that would be sure to produce some major fireworks.