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Yuriorkis Gamboa ready for Solis and beyond

Saturday night, in Atlantic City, Yuriorkis Gamboa defends his featherweight title against Jorge Solis on HBO's Boxing After Dark.

Today, he spoke to the media on a conference call. More questions were asked about a potential fight with Juan Manuel Lopez or Chris John than Solis. That's never a good sign. But to his credit, Gamboa deflected -- mostly out of frustration -- the questions about other opponents.

It was clear that Top Rank's Todd DuBoef is no rush to make a Gamboa-Lopez fight. DuBoef opened the conference call by saying, "We've seen the meteoric rise of Gamboa, it's exciting."

It's apparently not meteoric enough. When asked about a potential Lopez fight, DuBoef went into business-speak, saying things like, Gamboa needs "great competitive telegenic fights," and both fighters have "different business models."

And finally, "We don't do well with timelines, we do better at building businesses with both guys and when it's ready to go, it's ready to go."

For his part, Gamboa, speaking through manager Tony Gonzalez, said of the potential Lopez fight:

"In reality, I don't feel rushed to make that fight ... I really have no desire to keep talking about something that hasn't come through."

And ...

"The thing that bothers me most is that they'ved created this whole expectation in the press of a fight that still has not happened."

The groundwork for that expectation was laid by promoter Bob Arum who had Gamboa and Lopez fight on back-to-back doubleheaders in New York City. For the time being, Gamboa said simply, "I will tend to my business and collect belts."

It seems that Gamboa would much rather fight Lopez than talk about him.

As for Solis, he represents one of Gamboa's toughest tests to date. He's 40-2-2, with one of those losses coming against Manny Pacquiao in 2007.

"Manny, from that time to now, is a different fighter," said Gamboa "He's a better fighter. My fight with Solis is not an indicator of anything."

Gamboa, who is 19-0 with 15 knockouts, is perhaps the most exciting young fighter in the sport today. The former Olympic gold medalist from Cuba, was described by DuBoef as being "Roy Jones-esque."

Gamboa began training for Solis nine weeks ago, including a one-week stay in Japan. Gamboa left before the earthquake and tsunami rocked the nation. His trainer, Ismael Salas, trains a Japanese fighter, but Gamboa was vague about why he was in Japan, saying only that he engaged in some "specialized training."

Highlights from Baltimore Ravens safety Tommy "Tommy Z" Zbikowski's fight on the non-televised undercard of Saturday's Yuriorkis Gamboa-Jorge Solis world featherweight championship fight, in Atlantic City, will be shown by HBO on "Boxing After Dark," beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).  This will mark Tommy Z's first fight with Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward working his cormer.

 Follow Bobby Cassidy on Twitter at @casswriter44.

New York Sports