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Saturday, April 13, 2013
Yuriorkis Gamboa bout set for June

By Dan Rafael
ESPN.com

Yuriorkis Gamboa, a former unified featherweight titleholder and current interim junior lightweight titlist, is moving up in weight again.

Gamboa will face Darley Perez in a battle of unbeaten fighters on June 8 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, both sides told ESPN.com. The bout will serve as the HBO-televised co-feature to the Chad Dawson-Adonis Stevenson light heavyweight championship main event.

Gamboa, who is promoted by rap star Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, won a vacant interim 130-pound belt by unanimous decision against Michael Farenas on Dec. 8 on the Juan Manuel Marquez-Manny Pacquiao IV undercard in Las Vegas. But Gamboa has been talking about going to 135 pounds since even before he won that title.

Now Gamboa is making the move against Perez (28-0, 19 KOs), 29, of Colombia. He is a big puncher and natural lightweight.

"I believe that Darley has the tools to beat Gamboa," Gary Shaw, Perez's co-promoter with Thompson Boxing, told ESPN.com. "Whether he uses them will be a different story. Should be a real test for Gamboa, who is moving to 135, as Perez is a real 135-pounder."

Sean Gibbons, Jackson's matchmaker, also said the deal is agreed to, although the paperwork is not expected to be done until next week.

Initially, Jackson planned to have the 31-year-old Gamboa (22-0, 16 KOs), a 2004 Cuban Olympic gold medalist who defected and now lives in Miami, headline his own card in Las Vegas with HBO going with a split-site card that would have opened with Gamboa's bout followed by the bout in Montreal. Jackson even had secured the date from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Gamboa was originally supposed to face former junior lightweight title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos, but that bout fell apart due to a difference over the money and eventually the split-site card idea was scrapped with Gamboa's bout moving to the Montreal undercard.