Mikey Garcia vs Matt Remillard
Photo Cred -Chris Farina
By Sig Guillermo
Launching live March 26, 2011 from Atlantic City, New Jersey comes Top Rank’s fiery featherweight showdown between Cuban boxing sensation and current unified IBF/ WBA World Featherweight champion Yuriorkis “El Ciclon de Guantanamo” Gamboa and Mexico’s Jorge “Coloradito” Solis.
Ranked at #24 as one of the best fighters in the world according to Ring magazine, Cuban-born prodigy Yuriorkis Gamboa carries an astonishing 250 amateur fights under his belt, including his most notable achievement; capturing Olympic Gold as a flyweight for Cuba at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Along with new trainer and previous mentor to former IBF light heavyweight champion, Glen “The Road Warrior” Johnson, Orlando Cuellar; Yuriorkis has upped the ante with a more disciplined outlook and polished game.
Having been blessed with much success had also brought about financial hardships that would eventually drive Gamboa’s family into poverty. To keep food on the table, Gamboa would have to sell his Olympic Gold medal. When growing up in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, survival became the only option. Gamboa would later flee his homeland with fellow boxers, Odlanier Solis and Yan Barthelemy to Germany where they would apply for Visa’s to fight in the United States. Currently residing in Miami, Florida, the naturally gifted 29 year old Gamboa surpasses the hype of being imperceptible. He would first burst onto the scene in his professional debut on April 27, 2007, winning a four round unanimous decision over Armenian-born Alexan Manvelyn at the Arena Gym in Hamburg, Germany. Yuriorkis would return just two months later to decisively outpoint Czech Republic’s Araik Sachbazjan at the Ataturk Sport Salonu in Ankara, Turkey.
Gamboa would continue onward with a successful string of knockout victories over his next seven opponents, including a first round annihilation of Johnnie “Lumberjack” Edwards to win the vacant NABF Super featherweight title at the Xtreme Indoor Karting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 22, 2008.
On May 17, 2008, Gamboa would go on to win a hard fought twelve round unanimous decision over Dominican-born, Darling Jiminez, to win the vacant WBC International Super featherweight title at the Buffalo Bill’s Star Arena in Primm, Nevada. Two months later, Yuriorkis would go on to destroy Savannah, Georgia’s Al “The Quiet Storm” Seeger in one round to gain the vacant WBO featherweight title. Gamboa’s next six opponents would fall victim to never reaching the final round. That includes a smashing second round knockout of Tanzanian-born Rogers “The Tiger” Mtagwa, along with a strong unanimous decision win in Germany over Argentinean-born Jonathan “Yoni” Victor Barros, to retain his WBC featherweight title.
His most recent conquest was a one-sided title unification victory for the IBF Super Featherweight belt on September 11, 2010 against the only man to defeat former IBF and former two-time IBF Featherweight champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, Mexico’s Orlando “Siri” Salido at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now a three year pro, Gamboa will face his toughest challenge yet when he puts his titles on the line against rugged Mexican veteran, Jorge “Coloradito” Solis on March 26, 2011 in Atlantic City, N.J. Gamboa, who is known for his remarkable agility, as well as having exceptionally fast hands, will surely be tested against his crafty Mexican adversary.
Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Jorge Solis is the elder sibling of former IBF light flyweight champion Ulises Solis. He holds a firm amateur record of 33-3. Although the majority of Solis’ fights have taken place in Mexico, his successes would arrive early as he collected numerous titles; including the Jalisco State Featherweight, WBC Latin American, Mexican Super Bantamweight/ Featherweight, and WBA Fedecentro World title.
Beginning as a top tier Mexican prospect, Solis would make his professional debut as a Flyweight on February 6, 1998 with a swift third round TKO of Mexican countryman, Bernardo Tule. He went on to knockout his next three opponents before receiving the first draw of his career against Juan Carlos Brena on September 5, 1998. Solis would then go on to distinguish a fifteen fight winning streak against Mexican countrymen: Pedro Ayala (KO, 2), twice with Enrique Zavala (UD 8, and TKO, 3), Ricardo Sanchez (TKO, 3), Israel Gonzalez (TKO, 1), Juan Manuel Chavez (KO, 6), Alfredo Mendez (TKO, 5), Miguel Ochoa (KO, 1), Hector Manicina (KO, 3), Juan Jose Mendez (TKO, 6), Oscar Galindo (TKO, 3), Ernesto Fuentes (TKO, 3), Ruben Estanislao (MD, 12), Jorge Munoz (TKO, 6), Sammy Ventura (KO, 5), Fernando Alanis (KO, 5), and Jose Mura (TKO, 5). He would score his second draw to Wilson Alcorro on June 6, 2003. Solis would continue on his path of destruction as he easily handled his next five opponents before stepping up to face the fearless current WBC Lightweight champion Humberto Soto on September 17, 2004. To the dismay of boxing observers and ring analysts, the fight would abruptly end in a no contest in the third round due to cuts caused by accidental head butts.
Solis would proceed onward to win seven consecutive fights before running into the machine gun onslaught of pound for pound kingpin and eight- division world champion, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao on April 14, 2007 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Solis would put forth a gutsy effort before falling prey to the Filipino’s rapid fire combinations which would eventually lead to his eighth round stoppage. Like any true Mexican fighter, Solis would once again pick up the pieces that once molded him into a champion and rebound four months later to knockout Argentinean, Santiago Allione, in four rounds. He would then go 3-0 against moderate opposition, Miguel “Mickey” Roman (UD, 10), Jorge “El Gladiador” Samudio (TKO, 4), and Monty Meza Clay (TKO, 5).
On July 11, 2009, Solis would lose a chance at becoming an IBF Featherweight titlist with a twelve round unanimous decision loss to Mexican countryman, Cristobal “Larandon” Cruz. He would go on to dominate his next three opponents, including a seventh round KO against Columbian Likar Ramos on February 6, 2010 at the Unidad Deportiva Inalambrica in Mexico. Solis’ latest conquest came by a savage sixth round TKO over Columbian Francisco “Volcan” Cordero on September 4, 2010 at the Coliseo Olimpico de la UG in Guadalara, Jalisco, Mexico. Solis is out to prove that he still has it at this stage in his career. Despite his stationary come-forward style, he certainly remains a force to be reckoned with. But will that be enough to offset the well-coordinated Gamboa? Or will he find himself overwhelmed by Yuriorkis’ elusive style and blinding speed? Only time will tell as these two boxing gladiators come closer to rewriting boxing history.