Former unified featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa faces former lightweight title challenger Isaac Cruz on Saturday, April 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The ten-round bout serves as a co-main event of Showtime PPV card, headlined by a twelve-round welterweight title unification between WBC and IBF champion Errol Spence Jr and WBA titleholder Yordenis Ugas. Both fighters are looking to get back on the winning path.
Tickets for the event can be purchased through Vivid Seats and TicketNetwork. The date when the fight card airs live in Australia is Sunday, April 17.
‘I fought with a torn Achilles for 11 rounds’
Gamboa (30-4, 18 KOs) of Cuba lost his previous bout last November by unanimous decision against reigning WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney. In December 2019 he was stopped by Gervonta Davis in the twelfth round of their WBA 135-pound title clash.
“What I value the most is the fact that I’m going to be able to give fans the chance to see me fight once again and show them what I can do in the ring,” said Yuriorkis Gamboa at the virtual pre-fight press conference. “I’m a pro. I’m not in the business of sending messages or making statements. What I’m focused on is trying to become number one and being the best I can be inside the ring in order to beat my opponent. The rest is just talk.”
“My mere presence in this fight, the way that we have been prepared for this fight and what’s at stake, that alone tells you that I am one of the top fighters in the division. I have a tactical plan. I have a strategy ready to go for whatever happens. I’m ready to go for whatever comes my way and I’m planning to face anything and everything.
“I definitely have the edge in experience but at the same time, I’m going to rely on my preparation. I’m going to rely on the game plan and the strategy that we have put together to be able to fight and win any way we can.”
“I’m going to show everybody that’s watching on TV and that’s watching in the stands that Yuriorkis Gamboa is still here to stay and that Yuriorkis Gamboa can still be the best in the division. There’s definitely a lot of people that are overlooking what I still have left in the tank and the quality of fighter that I still am. People are going to see that’s just noise.”
‘I need to fight him while I’m healthy and 100 percent, because that fight will be totally different’
Yuriorkis Gamboa previously held the unified featherweight title, as well as the interim super featherweight and lightweight belts. In addition to going up against Haney and Davis for the WBC and WBA lightweight titles, respectively, he also challenged but fell short against long reigning WBO king Terence Crawford. But it is “Tank” who Gamboa wants to face for the second time.
“When I beat Isaac Cruz, I want the rematch with Gervonta Davis,” Gamboa said. “I really didn’t feel comfortable with the way that first fight unfolded. I fought with a torn Achilles for 11 rounds but I was still able to withstand everything and get to the finish.”
“I need another bite at the apple and I need to show that I have the quality to beat him. I need to fight him while I’m healthy and 100 percent, because that fight will be totally different.”
‘Mexican fighter that can rule the 135-pound division’
Cruz (22-2-1, 15 KOs) of Mexico was in action late 2021 when he put on a blockbuster performance yet dropped an unanimous decision against Davis. “Pitbull” says he is full of fight and is willing to fight any of the top lightweights.
“I feel blessed and I’m ready to give my all once again,” Isaac Cruz said. “I’m excited to continue to show the best of myself in 2022.”
“I wish I had pressured more against Gervonta Davis. If I had knocked him down I think it would have been a different story and it would have been me with my hand raised. Everything that happened in the Davis fight has made me better. My profile is definitely raised, but it has not gone to my head. I’m only focused on giving the fans the show that they crave and I know that I’m capable of giving them that.”
“I respect Gamboa and I thank him for the opportunity of getting to fight him. His resume is beyond reproach. However, I’m not here to lay down for anyone. I’m here to show that I’m one of the top fighters in the division.”
“My fists are going to speak inside of the ring. It’s not for me to say whether one punch can change the fight or not, we’re going to see what happens inside the ring on fight night.”
“Each fight is different. I’m going to be ready for anything that Gamboa has to offer. I’m getting ready with an amazing training camp and I’m looking forward to showing everyone everything that I’m capable of.”
‘If those fighters want to prove that they belong on the top level, then they have to fight me’
“I learned a valuable lesson from the Davis fight. I that I need to be focused inside the fight at every moment. I’m going to show people that I’m the Mexican fighter that can rule the 135-pound division.”
“I’m ready for however long it takes me to get this win, one round or all 12. I’m going to prove to all the top lightweights that I’m ready to fight any of them. If those fighters want to prove that they belong on the top level, then they have to fight me.”
Among other boots featured on the PPV card Jose Valenzuela takes on Francisco Vargas at lightweight and Cody Crowley and Josesito Lopez meets at welterweight. Get Spence vs Ugas full fight card.