The Gamboa Flimflam

By Robert Ecksel on March 10, 2012
The Gamboa Flimflam
Boxing, at least from Ken Hershman's vantage point, is less like karate than it's like Aikido


Yuriorkis Gamboa was AWOL at two pressers this week, and while his fight with Brandon Rios appears dead as a doornail, the shockwaves are still reverberating.

The usually high profile Bob Arum is keeping a low profile and must be red with rage. As congenial as he can be, Arum is no pushover and will do all in his power to see to it that Gamboa doesn’t walk away scot-free.

Several boxing writers are as upset as the head of Top Rank with Gamboa’s antics. Those who haven’t called for his head have demanded that he be drawn and quartered. Failing that, waterboarding, at Guantanamo no less, would be the next best thing to do.

HBO Sports’ new president, Ken Hershman, may be as distressed as everyone else. But Hershman to his credit doesn’t show it. Talking softly while carrying a big stick, when he spoke with Keith Idec yesterday about the situation, he measured his response.

“Obviously,” said Hershman, “we’re extremely disappointed that that fight fell apart. It was the fight on my calendar that I was looking forward to the most. We now have to move on and we’re in discussions with Top Rank on how to move forward in a way that we think is going to put everyone in the best position possible. But I can’t sit here and tell you I’m not disappointed.”

No threats. No bullying. That’s Ken Hershman’s style and it’s to be commended.

“Right now,” he continued, “we’re just in conversations with Top Rank on what to do…There’s a lot of moving parts here, so we’ll see if we can keep that date and move forward, or if we have to move it to a new date and the right situation.”

Hershman has been around boxing long enough to know that one doesn’t fight fire with fire. Boxing, at least from his vantage point, is less like karate than Aikido.

“It’s extremely distressing when a fighter pulls out due to some contractual situation that was unknown to us, or whatever it is. It’s not a good situation. When the network commits a lot of resources to you, you have to be reliable. We do our job and you have to do yours, which is show up for the fight.”

Hershman is playing his cards close to the vest. He knows that getting into a fight with Gamboa won’t be like Goliath challenging David. If Gamboa is training at Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas, as has been reported, it suggests that he’s aligned himself not only with Team Mayweather and the magic of Money May, but with Al Haymon and Golden Boy as well.

David and Goliath it’s not. That fight would be more like Goliath vs. Goliath, and Hershman knows, even though he has yet to admit it publicly, that that’s a fight HBO might not win.

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  1. TheOliveBomber 12:54am, 03/13/2012

    So just because he didn’t show up to some pressers the fights not going to happen?

  2. raxman 05:11pm, 03/11/2012

    you guys shouldn’t be dissing gamboa if the full story isnt out there. coz he aint ever struck me as the chicken type. if he is he don’t fight like any chicken i’ve ever seen

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 09:03am, 03/11/2012

    This little muscle bound baby will be found out….sooner or later….I guess later now because Rios was primed to do just that and won’t get his chance. It looks like Gamboa get’s a temporary reprieve here.

  4. the thresher 05:26pm, 03/10/2012

    Gamboa is a pollo

  5. Robert Ecksel 04:29pm, 03/10/2012

    No one is saying much. Gamboa failed to show at pressers in Miami and L.A. No excuses given. Top Rank is pissed, HBO is displeased, and everyone else is scratching their heads wondering what is going on.

  6. raxman 04:21pm, 03/10/2012

    i havent been online for a few days when did this fight get pulled? i heard he didnt turn up to a presser in NY and that was being likened to roy jones antics but that was the last i heard. so the fight is officially off?

  7. Robert Ecksel 09:55am, 03/10/2012

    I’m sure Gamboa’s comfortable with that role. He can see with his own two eyes that it hasn’t hurt Money May a bit.

  8. the thresher 09:48am, 03/10/2012

    What happens here is that Gamboa comes out the bad guy and Rios comes out the good guy.

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