COMMENTARY | Floyd Mayweather vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa?
When the challenge was issued from 50 Cent last week, during a back and forth Twitter joust, most knowledgeable fans had to roll their eyes. After all, Gamboa is a former featherweight champ, who is just about to make his debut as a full-time super featherweight. He's also the fighter who balked at fighting Brandon Rios at lightweight last year-- a move that eventually led to him being bought out of his Top Rank contract by the rapper's upstart promotional outfit.
Mayweather, on the other hand, is a full-fledged welterweight who even has two high-profile wins in the junior middleweight division. And not only is the five-division world champ a full welterweight, but he's a dominant one as well. The thought of Mayweather being challenged by someone who competes three full divisions below him is fairly ridiculous.
When contacted by Boxingscene's Chris Robinson, Floyd's head trainer and uncle, Roger Mayweather had this to say about the odd match-up:
"What the f*** is Gamboa going to do with Floyd? Listen, that's just talk. If [Gamboa] thought he could whoop Floyd, he'd have said it himself. He aint no fool. I know he aint no fool."
Robinson also went and contacted Floyd's other uncle, Jeff Mayweather, about the idea of a Mayweather-Gamboa fight.
"He knows and the whole boxing world knows that Gamboa aint got a chance against Floyd," Jeff said. "This guy gets dropped by a 126-pounder; what's he going to do with Floyd? And that's the truth."
Yuriorkis Gamboa is a tremendous fighter--a former Olympic gold medalist and two-time featherweight champ. He's also supremely talented and gifted with the type of ability that seldom comes along in the sport of boxing. He's a pound for pound talent whose resume may begin to reflect that ability now that his promotional entanglements have apparently been sorted out.
However, as talented as the Cuban dynamo is, Mayweather is just as talented (and possibly more so), with the history and resume to back up his claims of greatness. We known almost everything about Mayweather in the ring, we're just learning about Gamboa.
To make this fight a reality, Gamboa would have to put on at least seventeen pounds of fighting weight. It's something that sounds easy enough for the casual fan, but in boxing terms, is the equivalent of asking an NFL cornerback to act as a defensive lineman.
Unless Mayweather were willing to meet Gamboa somewhere in the middle-- and we know that isn't going to happen-- the weight disparity is just too much to consider this a legitimate challenge.
So, that leaves us with only two things to believe: 50 Cent is completely naive about the sport and the realities of making weight or he's merely poking at the hornet's nest that buzzes around Mayweather, looking to generate some free publicity for SMS Promotions at a time when the young company needs all the attention it can muster.
The latter is most likely the case.
If 50 Cent and his promotional team can't put together a legitimate infrastructure to stage their own shows and can't flex enough muscle to get their fighters some high-profile bouts, they may quickly lose all of the momentum they've gotten so far and, in turn, lose their ability to hold the interest of main stage, high profile fighters.
In other words, if SMS can't generate some real money for Gamboa, Dirrell, and Dib, they will soon find themselves dead in the water. The next six months will be key in whether this new company will work or whether it will simply implode with a whimper.
In the meantime, expert more media manipulation and similar outrageous challenges as 50 Cent works to make a name for his product. It's understandable, albeit somewhat annoying.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
Chris Robinson, Roger, Jeff Mayweather on 50's Floyd-Gamboa Proposal, Bosingscene