Although they no longer spend most of their times in Miami, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Erislandy Lara still have strong local followings.
Fans of Gamboa’s and Lara’s will be busy flicking the remotes Saturday night. The former Cuban amateur champions and now established professionals will fight on competing telecasts by the sport’s premium cable networks.
Gamboa, who lives in Las Vegas, will face Colombia’s Darley Perez at the Bell Centre in Montreal. The scheduled 12-round, junior-lightweight bout will be televised by HBO.
Lara, meanwhile, has a Saturday night appearance on Showtime. Now living in Houston, Lara will face Alfredo Angulo in a scheduled 12-round, junior-middleweight match at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
“I have fought all over the world but this is the first time I will fight in Montreal,” Gamboa said before a recent workout.
Gamboa (22-0, 18 KOs) returned to the ring after a 14-month absence in December and won a hard-fought decision against Michael Farenas on the undercard of the fourth bout between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Perez (28-0, 19 KOs) has only fought twice outside of his native Colombia, but one of the fights was a split decision win over Bahoodir Mamadjonov last year in Cabazon, Calif. Mamadjonov scored an eighth-round TKO win over Miami resident and previously unbeaten Angelo Santana two months ago.
“I don’t know much about my opponent,” Gamboa said. “We have been working on a few new things that I will display [the night of the fight].”
Lara, however, fully knows his rival. Angulo (22-2, 18 KOs) is considered one of the strongest punchers in the 154-pound class.
Saturday’s bout will be Lara’s first since he fought Vanes Martyrosian to a technical draw. For Lara (17-1-2), the bout’s outcome against Martyrosian resulted in another delay for a possible world title fight.
“I know his style; I know the way he fights,” Lara said in a conference call last week. “And I’m prepared for that, and my plan is going to play out.”
Derrick Wilson took a substantial step in shedding the “opponent” label.
A Fort Myers resident, Wilson won a hard-fought unanimous decision against previously unbeaten Braulio Santos in the main event of Saturday night’s show at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.
When the fighters agreed to the match two months ago, Santos, of Puerto Rico, was considered the rising prospect while Wilson’s four career losses already had him close to journeyman status.
But Wilson withstood early power punches and multiple low blows and dictated the pace in the second half of the entertaining, 10-round featherweight bout.
Wilson (10-4-2) secured the victory when he dropped Santos (10-1) with a right to the side of the head early in the ninth round.
Santos connected left hooks to the head early. Wilson scored with combinations to the head.
“Even though I was the ‘opponent,’ I had enough time to prepare for the fight,” said Wilson, who is accustomed to getting fights at short notice. “This time I had two months.”
• In an undercard cruiserweight fight, Boca Raton resident Steve Geffrard lost a split decision against Travis Reeves.
After a successful amateur career, highlighted by three national tournament championships in 2010, Geffrard is now 0-2 as a professional.