Mikey Garcia wants Yuriorkis Gamboa next
By Dan Ambrose: Newly crowned WBO super featherweight champion Mikey Garcia (33-0, 28 KO’s) is targeting interim WBA lightweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-0, 16 KO’s) next following Mikey’s 8th round KO win over WBO super featherweight champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez (27-2-2, 16 KO’s) last Saturday night at the American Bank Center, in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Garcia said this to HBO about a potential fight against Gamboa: “I’m willing to go up and meet him at 135 if he doesn’t want to come down. I think it would be a great fight. People would want to see it. Why not? Let’s do it. I think anybody they put in front of me, I’m ready to fight.”
It’s pretty clear that Mikey would have to move up in weight to get a fight against the 31-year-old Gamboa, and even then it’s still debatable whether Gamboa will take the fight. Mikey’s promoter Bob Arum will have to make a big offer to Gamboa to get him to take the fight because he be content to wait until he gets a title shot against WBA lightweight champion Richard Abril instead, because that’s a much more winnable fight for Gamboa than a fight against Mikey. If Gamboa wasn’t willing to fight Brandon Rios in the past, then it’s difficult to see him agreeing to fight Mikey.
A fight between Mikey and Gamboa would be a toss up at this point. Gamboa is fast, powerful and an excellent counter puncher. Mikey has never fought anyone remotely as good as Gamboa and this could turn out badly for him if Gamboa uses his speed to press the fight. We saw last night that Mikey looked vulnerable when Ramon Martinez was coming forward and pressuring him. It wasn’t until Martinez backed off and let Mikey fight at his slow pace that Mikey was able to start doing well.
If Gamboa pressures Mikey with flurries and power shots, we could see Mikey on the canvas just like we did last night. One gets the sense that Mikey doesn’t take shots too well. His offense is his defense, and it looks like Mikey isn’t the type of fighter that can take a lot of punishment without getting hurt or knocked out. Gamboa has the kind of power and skills to expose Mikey, and he’s also smart enough to know that he can’t let Mikey have a lot of time to set up his shots. Mikey doesn’t fight well when things are thrown into chaos because he needs to think for him to fight well. If Gamboa takes the fight to him and rakes him with shots, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mikey on the canvas looking up at the lights before long.
The real question is whether Gamboa will take this fight. Bob Arum of Top Rank has the money to lure Gamboa into the fight, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be willing to open up his wallet to make this fight happen because Mikey isn’t a pay-per-view type of attraction, so the big money won’t be there without HBO being willing to come up with a lot of money to show this fight. Will they do that? I doubt it.