Yuriorkis Gamboa steps in for an injured Castellanos against Jason Sosa
By Kelly Owen | Photographer and Writer
Yuriorkis ‘El Ciclon de Guantanamo’ Gamboa (27-2, 17 KOs) and Jason ‘El Canito’ Sosa (20-2-4, 15 KOs) face off in a 10-round super featherweight match-up as a televised opener to the Kovalev vs Shabrankskyy fight at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, November 25.
Gamboa is stepping in as a replacement for Robinson Castellanos who withdrew from the fight following a back injury. The 35 year old Cuban sees the fight with Sosa as an opportunity to claw his way back into contention for a title saying, "I'm excited for this great opportunity to fight Sosa on the undercard of Kovalev-Shabranksyy. A win over Sosa on HBO could push me back into title contention. I'm a fighter with many aspects and dimensions, and that's what I'll bring in my fight against Sosa. For my my last fight, I wasn't prepared well. This time I will be very much prepared, so I can walk away with my hand raised." Gamboa is a former unified featherweight champion defeating wily veteran Orlando Salido and Daniel Ponce De Leon prior to the official move to 130lbs.
Former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion Jason Sosa of Camden, NJ is returning to the ring following his ninth round knockout defeat at the hands of Vasyl Lomachenko in April and will be looking to redeem himself against Gamboa. Sosa faced Javier Fortuna in Beijing in 2016, handing him an 11th round knockout loss, claiming the WBA title in the process. He then faced Stephen Smith in Monte Carlo in November 2016 and retained the title via a 12 round decision win. Sosa is not discounting Gamboa as a tough competitor despite criticisms he will be facing a less competitive opponent stating that, "People think we have an easier opponent in Gamboa since Castellanos beat him, but we're not buying into that. Maybe Gamboa didn't take Castellanos seriously. We expect to see the very best Gamboa on Nov. 25. Having said that, this is not about who we are fighting; this is about why. We are fighting to make Puerto Rico proud after what all the people who live there have been through recently (due to the recent hurricanes).”
The event will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT and will take place on Nov. 25 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.