Rios, Gamboa set to meet April 14

A favorite of fantasy matchmakers appears on its way to reality as No. 2-ranked lightweight Brandon Rios (29-0-1, 22 KOs) will take on No. 1-ranked featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs) in a lightweight showdown on April 14 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Rios-Gamboa, reported as a done deal by spokespeople from both camps, will be for the vacant WBA lightweight title — a title recently stripped from Juan Manuel Marquez.

Rios previously held a lesser version of the title that he was forced to vacate due to weight issues before his Dec. 3 bout with Brit John Murray. The resident of Oxnard, Calif., burst upon the world scene in 2010 with a dominant DQ 7 win over Anthony Peterson. Since then, the colorful, all-action “Bam Bam” has stopped each of his next four opponents: Omri Lowther (TKO 5), Miguel Acosta (TKO 10) , Urbano Antillon (KO 3), and John Murray (TKO 11).

Gamboa, a Cuban Olympic gold medalist and one of the sport’s most talented fighters, will be moving up two full weight classes to take the high-profile HBO bout. In his last several contests, Gamboa has scored dominant victories over Daniel Ponce de Leon (TD 8), Jorge Solis (TKO 4), and Orlando Salido (UD 12).