Talented Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa is focusing on a return to activity early in 2014 and eventually hopes to land a shot at current WBO super-featherweight champion Mikey Garcia.
The 32 year-old, who has held world or interim belts in three weight classes, has found his career stalling due to a contract dispute with his previous handlers, but now wants to concentrate on getting back in the mix at the top of the rankings.
Gamboa last fought in June when out-pointing Darleys Perez for the interim WBA lightweight title, but has exclusively told WBN that he plans to head back to 130lbs before attempting a further move up the divisions in the future.
“I expect to be back in the ring sometime in February, however there are still some contractual agreements that are in the way of that at the moment,” Gamboa told World Boxing News.
“I want to have a warm-up fight and then challenge for a title in April. I think that for me it is more meaningful to fight Mikey Garcia first, before thinking of fighting again at lightweight or above.”
One fighter that does interest Gamboa would be former 130 and 135lb champion Adrien Broner, who recently failed to make an impact after building his body up to welterweight in a short space of time.
“Each fighter is different. I know Broner is a good fighter so I assume he knows his body better then anyone else, but If it was me I would have waited a little longer before moving up that far,” said Gamboa.
“If he comes back down, and I think he should, I would take a fight with Broner in a heartbeat. Broner is good, well not as good as Garcia but a good fighter, so I see Garcia as the better choice right now.
“Later on I can move up I think, however first I would like to get the fight with Garcia at 130 if he ever comes out of his cave and takes my challenge and doesn’t let his bosses convince him otherwise.
“After that, I would even fight Paquiao if Floyd and him don’t come to an agreement, but not so fast, I need to get there properly so I can beat these fighters with no weight problems.
“What I mean by that is that gaining all that weight and remain fast requires the proper work on your body, which I will make sure I do before thinking of going higher.”
Gamboa has been working intensely in the gym to keep himself in top shape as his return nears, with the ex-amateur star confident that he can prove any doubters wrong and come back stronger than ever.
“I want to let the people know that this is not a different Gamboa then a couple of years ago,” he emphasized. “Yes, I haven’t been as active as they would like – but people should think twice before betting against me.
“I am disciplined on my training and I rarely take a day off. I am fully ready and will show that I am a champion.”