When WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa steps into the ring against IBF champ Orlando Salido for his first title unification this Saturday (Sept. 11th, featured on HBO Boxing After Dark) at The Palms in Las Vegas, „El Ciclon“ knows exactly who to thank for the way his career has taken so far.
"I have a fantastic team behind me", said Gamboa in Vegas. "With my father Carlos who brought me to boxing and has always been a role model, my trainer Ismael Salas who I have known for many, many years, my promoter Ahmet Öner and my manager Tony Gonzalez who led me from my pro-debut to Las Vegas on the fast lane and the team of Top Rank who is doing a great job in putting together these wonderful shows I have the best team in my corner that a fighter can possibly have. But I also know that I wouldn’t be where I am right now if I wouldn’t work as hard as possible for my success."
By emphasizing his own way of hard work Gamboa wants to encourage young fighters and promising prospects to always go to their limits.
"I know that I am a gifted fighter and I thank God for all the talent He has given me. But even the most talent in the world will not make you a main event fighter if you do not dedicate all your life to training. The hard work in the gym has brought me to Las Vegas. I never got anything for free in my whole life; I always had to fight and work hard for it. I still remember the times when I was still a young fighter in Cuba. There were so many excellent boxers with extraordinary achievements and great talent. Lots of them were more gifted than me. But I wanted to prove that I can be the best of all so I started doing extra training sessions."
Adds his father Carlos Gamboa: "Yuri is a boxaholic. He was always the first to come to the gym and the last to leave. He sacrificed a lot to become the best fighter in the world. His hard work earned him the Olympic gold medal and a world championship title in very short time as a professional."
"I guess, the most important thing is never to be fully satisfied with what you’re doing", says "El Ciclon". "After some of my fights lots of people told me how great I was but all I ever wanted and still want is to get better. I am proud that I have come this far already but I still see room for improvement. I want to be recognized as the best boxer in the world. This is what I am living and working for."