Best Boxer - 2012
Dubbed the "Guantánamo Cyclone," Yuriorkis Gamboa has earned his nickname in and out of the ring. The headstrong 30-year-old Cuban boxer could become one of the elite pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. He has a chance to become the next Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao, even if he marches to the beat of his own timbales. He caused a stir in the boxing world when, over a contract dispute, he dropped out of a bout with light heavyweight Brandon Rios that was to be televised on HBO. Some longtime purists criticized him for pulling out, but for a guy who sold his Olympic gold medal to support his family in Cuba before defecting to Miami, he deserves to call his own shots. A methodical pugilist, Gamboa has built a 21-0 professional record with 16 wins coming by knockout. In his U.S. pro debut at the Hollywood Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on October 30, 2007, he demolished Adailton de Jesus with a knockout in the first round. He has also knocked down two other opponents in the first round. He'll do it his way, but don't be surprised if Gamboa's final destination is the top of the boxing world.