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Written by Ian Wallwork

Yuriorkis set to test his power at 130 against beaten-up Rocky Juarez on 3/3/12

Yuriorkis Goamboa is the kind of fighter you can't help watching. He gets thrown into the ring like a lit banger and throws punches until the other guy falls. He's 30 years old, coming up to five years as a pro, and one of the most exciting fighters in boxing. But he's not fighting the best.

I've thought for a while that Gamboa could get onto the p4p list someday but right now you can't make his case. The problem is that he hasn't fought the best at 126, a division with some great champions and legit contenders.

You've got the ever-present Chris John, a champion who doesn't like leaving Indonesia. To be fair to him, he's stepped it up lately and beaten Rocky Juarez in the US and Stanyslav Merdov in Australia. A win over John, a fighter nobody has solved yet, would be Gamboa's defining career moment. Not that it will ever happen. John isnt the kind of fighter who will take on anyone. He's got a forty-six fight unbeaten record and taking it into the ring against Gamboa would be too much a risk. Scratch Chris John off the list.

Miguel Angel Garcia is a prospect I'd put on Gamboa's level. Like Gamboa he is unbeaten, and like Gamboa he hasn't stepped up his level of opposition yet. There's not much money in the bout but it would be great to watch. The lack of cash might put Bob Arum off getting them both in the ring, and he doesn't want to throw his two rough diamonds together and have one of them lose their '0'. Instead he'll let them pump out victory after victory until he's got them at their market value highest, then he'll make them explode. For me, Gamboa comes on top if he fights Garcia. He'd smother him with pressure.


Does Gamboa look dejected? Maybe he's thinking about his upcoming bout with Rocky Juarez.
 
I'd like to see Gamboa vs Juan Manuel Lopez. Lopez (31-1-0) beat Daniel Ponce de Leon when de Leon was someone to worry about. He's also scored a win over Rafael Marquez, a win anyone would be proud to have on their CV. I think he's the most capable of beating Gamboa from the guys on this list.

There's always the possibility Nonito Donaire will move up to 126 or Gamboa will fight Adrian Broner at super featherweight. There are lots of possibilities and all of them better than Rocky Juarez.

The only fair thing to say is that this is a test fight for Gamboa to see how he does at 130. I don't want to rain all over it so I will say that Juarez is a name, and he's fought some of the best. The problem is he doesn't beat them. His last decent win was in 2008 against Barrios, and lately all he's done is lose. Juarez's last five fights read L, L, L, L, L. You can expect Gamboa to add another to that line, and then Juarez should either give it up or move down to 126, if he can still make the weight.

I don't expect Gamboa to learn much from this fight. In a perfect world he'd stay where he is and fight John, Garcia and Lopez, maybe even Donaire. What's more likely is he'll KO Juarez and then dominate a weaker super featherweight division.