Boxing

Arnold Barboza Jr Deserves A World Title Shot, Seriously!

Top Rank’s Arnold Barboza Jr., has earned everything the ol’ fashion way. Undefeated in 25 pro fights, unsigned until a chance training camp with Mike Alvarado, in which Alvarado was prepping for Marquez, saw Barboza get signed by the industry giant, and probably didn’t hurt that Barboza could fill up local shows that Top Rank were running during the ‘Solo Boxeo’ era.

Barboza now has over 140 professional rounds under his belt, and a 40% knockout ratio. Beyond that, Barboza has been in tough with opponents compiling a record of 352-99-11, across 25 professional fights.

Barboza Jr, of South El Monte, California, is the true started from the bottom fighter, who you want to see succeed yet a log-jam at the 140 lbs division, somewhat had him going in circles. An undisputed world champion is great for the fans, but for the fighters only one man can great them a life-changing opportunity, and Barboza is waiting for his chance to win gold.

“The only thing I can do is keep fight, and keep winning,” said Barboza Jr., of South El Monte, California. “What gets me is that a lot of these fighters that are ‘ranked higher than me’, have all had title shots…I haven’t even got a chance, I just want a chance.”

Barboza isn’t lying as fellow Los Angeles, California native Jose “Chon” Zepeda has had two world title shot, Regis Progais has had one crack at the belt as well along with being a world champion, and Viktor Postol the only man ranked above him as well in The Ring Magazine rankings has had multiple world title shots, and been a world champion. For Barboza, it is a waiting game, but also frustrating, know he can only go so far without getting a chance to fight for a world title which would take him to the next level. In short, it is hard to find anyone in his division in a similar spot.

Barboza, who last fought on the co-main event of Vasyl Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez in which he defeated Alex Saucedo, by decision, but had to get up from a knockdown in round seven of this fight, is poised to go to the next level.

“I learned a lot from my fight against Alex Saucedo,” said Barboza Jr. “I could’ve made the fight easier, but I always here the same thing fight-after-fight, that they’re going to break my will, and I showed them in that fight, it won’t happen.”

The question now is, when does Barboza Jr get his shot, since if all things are equal, he has looked better than Jose Zepeda, in Zepeda’s recent outings, and is more than likely ahead of Kenneth Sims Jr., who defeated Elvis Rodriguez in a shocker, Regis Prograis is always a top contender, but outside of him, not a lot of people make sense besides Barboza.

Barboza is currently #4 in the WBC rankings, #14 in the WBA rankings, #3 for the WBO. The only foreseeable bouts to make could be a #1 contender bout for the WBO between #2 ranked Liam Paro, which would mandate the WBO super lightweight champion, Josh Taylor to fight, Barboza, or if Taylor moves up after his July clash, a fight for a vacated WBC super lightweight world title with Jose Zepeda, in L.A. bout. Then we have the wild card, Teofimo Lopez.

“I am open to welcoming Teofimo Lopez to the 140 lbs division,” said Barboza Jr. “Especially if I can’t get a big fight for a world title, people are bringing up Teofimo’s name in the 140 lbs division when he has fight in a few weeks, and I would gladly fight him if he moves up to the super lightweight division.”

Barboza is hard not to cheer for. The constant underdog, who is raising a family, and trained by his father. Barboza Jr., rose up and onto the scene of Top Rank club shows in the L.A.-area as a solid ticket seller, and as a guy who gave Mike Alvarado good work prior to his bout with Juan Manuel Marquez. Barboza has constantly sought to improve, as Barboza Jr. has defied the odds, and now not unlike the blue-collar guy or gal looking for raise after years of hard work invested, Barboza is looking to be a world champion.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle