Gamboa signs with upstart BB Promotions

Former featherweight titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa will take his career to Spain after signing with BB Promotions. Chris Farina/Top Rank

Former unified featherweight titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa signed this week with promoter BB Promotions, which is based in Spain. Gamboa is the first fighter to sign with the company.

Gamboa has been with rapper Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's bankrupt SMS Promotions, which still has his rights until the end of September until BB Promotions becomes his exclusive promoter.

Gamboa's pairing with Jackson was a disaster as it was plagued by long layoffs and Jackson's failure as a promoter. He fought five times since 2012, but never on a card Jackson promoted, including when he suffered his only defeat to then-lightweight champion Terence Crawford, who knocked Gamboa out in the ninth round in June 2014.

Gamboa's most recent fight came on Dec. 19 when Jackson made a deal to place him on a Golden Boy card and he easily outpointed Hylon Williams.

"I want to thank BB Promotions for making this new stage possible, in which I am sure that some important fights will be coming my way," Gamboa said. "I feel like a real part of this excellent team. It was a great experience to visit Barcelona, where I hope to base my future training. Until now I had never seen a promoting company work like this."

Miami-based Gamboa (25-1, 17 KOs) and BB Promotions said they hope to match him against opponents such as former featherweight titleholder Nicholas Walters and interim junior lightweight titlist Javier Fortuna.

Gamboa, 34, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist for Cuba before defecting and turning pro in 2007, visited with company officials recently in Barcelona, came away impressed and signed after working through his issues with Jackson, who would still be cut in for a piece of the money from Gamboa's fights over an undisclosed number of bouts.

David Bogajo, president of BB Promotions, said he hopes to use Gamboa's fights to help popularize boxing in Spain.

"Hopefully, this agreement is the beginning of a long and successful relationship for both parties," he said. "We will continue working to sign the best boxers available. BB Promotions is a worldwide company, and even though we are new in [boxing] we have an excellent team full of hope, so we are willing to work with everyone to reach the top."