Bits and Pieces: Gamboa-Burgos possible for June 8




Gamboa-Burgos possible for June 8 at 135 pounds

As previously reported by Maxboxing’s Steve Kim last week, the idea of Yuriorkis Gamboa fighting Juan Carlos Burgos as part of a June 8 HBO show is being contemplated.

According to Thompson Boxing general manager Alex Camponovo, who backs Mexico’s Burgos, it would more than likely be a move to 135 pounds for both fighters, whose most recent fights were at 130 pounds.

Burgos (30-1-1, 20 knockouts) is coming off a highly-controversial draw against WBO 130-pound beltholder Roman Martinez in January that saw his team petition the WBO for an immediate rematch. Martinez defends his title against Diego Magdaleno in Macau on April 2, but the WBO elected to keep Burgos its No. 1 contender in lieu of the controversial nature of the bout.

Gamboa (22-0, 16 KOs) is coming off his first fight following a 15-month layoff where he looked less than spectacular decisioning Michael Farenas in December. The bout was Gamboa’s debut under the promotional leadership of rapper/entrepreneur Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who performed a rap song as part of the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez pay-per-view broadcast that night.


Aaron Garcia returns in May

Vista, Calif.-based featherweight Aaron Garcia will return to the ring in San Diego at the Del Mar Racetrack in late May after more than a year-and-a-half away from the ring, according to his trainer and manager Vincent Parra. The card will be promoted by San Diego-based promoter Bobby D Presents.

Garcia (10-3-2, 2 KOs) had a crazy 2011 before taking a break after suffering a bad strain to his Achilles. He started the year by winning a four-round majority decision over Alejandro Lopez, who just came up short in a title challenge against Jonathan Romero at 122 in February. He then lost an eight-round majority decision to unbeaten Abraham Lopez on his promoter’s card in Ontario, then followed it up by dropping a ten-round split-decision to Bernabe Concepcion on a Top Rank card, with Concepcion being promoted by Top Rank.

Prior to his injury that kept him out all of 2012, Garcia worked with Mercito Gesta in the gym regularly. Gesta is also trained by Parra.

Before Evgeny Gradovich got the late call to fight Billy Dib on ESPN2 for a featherweight title, Garcia was in talks to fight him. Gradovich got the offer to step in and ended up coming away with the belt.

“We’d like to get Aaron three or four tune-ups,” Parra told RingTV on Tuesday. “After that, we’d like to go after anyone pretty much.”

“He’s been back for two weeks and looks pretty good. With his amateur pedigree and a few good names on his record, I can maneuver him into the Top 10 and then go after someone like Gradovich.”

For a fighter with just fifteen fights, Garcia has tons of valuable experience. Perhaps the time away from the ring will have helped restore him.


Lopez in limbo

Speaking of Abraham Lopez, who narrowly beat the aforementioned Garcia, his career is surprisingly in a holding pattern for an undefeated fighter who was on the verge of a major bout last year.

According to Thompson Boxing general manager Alex Camponovo, it has been difficult lining up a fight for Lopez because of his secondary career track. Lopez (17-0, 12 KOs), who is managed by southern California based Espinoza Boxing, is pursuing a career in the medical field, which has slowed down his development as a fighter.

“It’s been hard getting a fight lined up for Abraham because of his secondary career,” Camponovo told RingTV on Tuesday. “At some point, he’ll have to make a decision on whether it’ll be boxing or pursuing his other career in the medical field, and we’ll be understanding either way.”

The 25-year old from La Puente, Calif., was due to fight Orlando Cruz of Puerto Rico last October at the WBO Convention in Florida.

Lopez’s last appearance was an ESPN2 Friday Night Fights co-featured bout against Gabriel Tolmajyan last March, where he endured deep waters to come away with a eight-round unanimous decision.

For the moment, Lopez is focused on school and becoming a nurse, something he’s been doing for some time. For those that aren’t aware, nursing school is one of the more time consuming educational choices one can make, so don’t expect Lopez to make a ring return until school is out for the summer.


Salazar-Lamonakis in women’s heavyweight passing of the torch

Quality female heavyweights are not a dime a dozen.

In fact, Boxrec only has 21 female heavyweights of any sort listed as active. So it only makes sense that the current No.1 female heavyweight, Sonya Lamonakis, a staple of Lou DiBella’s Broadway Boxing cards in New York where she is from, take on one of the former recognized top female heavyweights from the past era.

Lamonakis (7-0-2) will meet San Francisco-based former top female heavyweight Martha Salazar in a six-round bout on April 13 in Sacramento, Calif., at the Lions Gate Convention Center. Salazar will be returning to the ring for the first time in six years, with her last fight being a close ten-round majority decision loss to Vonda Ward for the inaugural WBC women’s heavyweight title.

Salazar (11-4, 3 KOs) fought Ward a total of three times, with their first fight in 2003 being televised on the HBO pay-per-view undercard of Roy Jones Jr.’s historic victory over heavyweight John Ruiz. That marked the last time women’s boxing in any capacity took place on HBO. Salazar was 0-3 against Ward, but always gave her a tough challenge.

Lamonakis quickly became a fan favorite on DiBella’s cards in New York, where she has been the lone dominant force in the women’s heavyweight division.

The fight is the co-feature to a six-round rematch between local junior featherweight John Abella (3-0-1, 2 KOs) and Salvador Cifuentes (1-4-1).of Chula Vista, Calif. Five other bouts featuring local northern California talent rounds out the card, which will be live streamed at


Galarza signs with manager Galante

Brooklyn junior middleweight prospect Frank Galarza has never had it easy.

Having lost both of his parents at a young age to a combination of negative influences, Galarza has had a rough life out of the ring. After learning to box in his late teens, Galarza got stuck with a bad crowd before returning to the sport in 2009 and winning the New York State Golden Gloves in the 165-pound novice division.

Now 27 years old and 9-0-1 (5 KOs), Galarza isn’t going to have it easy if he is going to make it up the ladder. However, things have gotten a little bit less difficult as he’s aligned himself with young manager A.J. Galante of Danbury, Conn.

Galante is notable for having resurrected the career of junior middleweight Delvin Rodriguez in recent years, guiding him to a meaningful fight against Austin Trout in a Showtime Championship Boxing televised bout.

Rodriguez got that opportunity after participating in an ESPN2 televised 2011 Fight of the Year against Pawel Wolak, where he earned a draw that July. Rodriguez would score a clear victory in a rematch on the pay-per-view undercard of Miguel Cotto’s highly anticipated rematch with Antonio Margarito in December of that same year.

Now with a bit of big-league experience under his belt, Galante, himself a year younger than his client at 26, hopes to bring Galarza to another level despite his late start.

Galarza’s last appearance came in his hometown on the undercard of Bernard Hopkins’ historic win over Tavoris Cloud at the Barclays Center. According to Galante, he plans on keeping Galarza active and hopes to move up his level of opposition in short order. Already in his late twenties, there isn’t much time for Galarza to mess around, and considering the way Galante brought back Rodriguez from a number of losses, he may be the guy for the job.



Photo / Martin Rose-Bongarts

Mark Ortega is the boxing columnist for the Martinez News-Gazette and is a member of the Boxing Writers Assoc. of America and the RING Ratings Advisory Panel. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]as well as followed on Twitter @MarkEOrtega.