Gamboa No Stranger to Pressure, Returns in Co-Feature on HBO
The 2017 boxing season is off to a tremendous start, and it’s likely that Yuriorkis “El Ciclon de Guantánamoz” Gamboa’s long-awaited return to the ring on March 11th could be forgotten by many fans of the sport.
Gamboa (25-1, 17 KO’s) is back in the ring against Nicaraguan journeyman Rene Alvarado (24-7, 16 KO’s) on HBO, as the co-feature to David Lemieux vs. Curtis Stevens.
Gamboa is poised for a big 2017, after resolving years of promotional issues and signing a contract with Golden Boy Promotions at the beginning of the year.
Gamboa, who burst onto the scene in 2008 and went on to win championships at 126 and 130 pounds, has fought just twice since a knockout loss at 135 pounds to Terrence Crawford in November of 2014, and only once in 2012 and once in 2013.
Adversity is not something that has stopped Gamboa in the past. After defecting from Cuba–and selling his 2004 Olympic Gold Medal from Athens, Greece to help his family—, he’s beaten bigger odds than inactivity during his career.
Gamboa, who turned 35 at the end of 2016, should give fans plenty of optimism as to where his career will go moving forward. There’s little time to waste, and it’s clear that Golden Boy Promotions has signed the Cuban star with the intent of getting the most from their investment.
On paper, Rene Alvarado has little to no chance to defeat Gamboa. This fight should serve as a tune-up for Gamboa—a chance to quickly knock off any ring rust that’s accumulated over time, and more importantly, to look impressive while doing it.
Alvarado is the perfect mix of an underdog looking to fill the script of a Hollywood movie.
The fighter known as “Gemelo” isn’t afraid to mix it up in the ring, or take punishment while doing it. He’s been extremely active over the last year and a half, fighting eight times since the end of 2014.
Luck can be defined as preparation meeting opportunity. There’s no questioning that the opportunity is huge for both Alvarado and Gamboa.
Both fighters have plenty of questions to answer heading into this 130lb bout, but Gamboa has all the pressure on his shoulders.
Saturday night, El Ciclon de Guantánamo will take the first step towards recapturing the glory that has eluded his reach over the last half-decade.