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  • Miguel Maravilla PHOTO BY Mikey Williams / Top

Arnold Barboza: I have to keep proving myself

Undefeated junior welterweight Arnold Barboza Jr (23-0, 10 KOs), from South El Monte, California returns to action this Saturday as he takes on Canadian Tony Luis (29-3, 10 KOs). Barboza vs. Luis takes place at the “Bubble” at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas on the Jose Ramirez-Viktor Postol undercard, streamed live on ESPN+.

“It’s a tough fight, I’m excited. This is something I have been training for all year. It’s definitely not going to be easy,” Arnold Barboza told Southern California

Coming off a great 2019 in which saw the 28-year old Barboza fight three times. Scoring a devastating knockout over former world champion and sparring partner Mike Alvarado in April. Followed by a summer stoppage of Ricky Sismundo in the inaugural boxing card at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, and a fifth-round knockout over William Silva in his last fight.

“Last year was a statement year for me. I have great momentum, that was my opening year, so I have to keep on building up on it,” Barboza said.

Already eager to get back in the ring, Barboza like many was affected by the quarantine shut down as he comes into this fight with nearly a year of inactivity. Despite the COVID-19 lockdown measures, Barboza kept working his craft.

“It was rough at the beginning the first two weeks. We just stood active as possible. My dad made a little gym in the garage. We were doing that making it as camp like as possible. Gym’s weren’t open so we adjusted,” Barboza said. “I had to sacrifice a lot trying to stay safe and get a pay day. It’s been a long year. I have been ready to go for a while. I had to slow it down,”

Having completed his preparation with his dad Arnold Barboza, the father son duo held camp in Bell Gardens, California. Sparring with the prospects Michael Dutchover, Luis Feliciano, and Ruben Torres and Barboza Jr. looks to execute his plan against the Canadian Luis.

“We are ready to go. Camp was good and we are just ready to go,” Barboza on his preparation. “I’ve been getting great sparring to prepare for this fight and style,”

For his opponent, Luis a slick boxer-puncher has fought most of his fights in Canada, as he is coming off a decision over Ricardo Lara last October.

“He has a flashy style but at same time, he likes to brawl. We have put together a great game plan for him,” Barboza on Luis.

Rated eighth by the WBC and tenth by the WBO, for Barboza a win over Luis will keep him active but looks to step up in class down the line.

“First thing is first, a win here. I have to keep proving myself,” Barboza stated.

Promoted by Top Rank, Barboza is confident that in the near-future things will lineup for him at junior welterweight. WBC/WBO champion Jose Ramirez and WBA/IBF champion Josh Taylor are promoted by Top Rank. If Barboza would go on to face either Ramirez or Taylor in the future, it can be for a potential undisputed title.

“I take it fight by fight. I’m in a good position with a great promoter on a great platform. I see myself at the top with the top guys. Saturday night, I will prove it,” Barboza explained. “There is great talent at junior welterweight. Top Rank has a lot of that talent signed. So those fights won’t be hard to make. It’s just waiting in line for Jose Ramirez or Josh Taylor. Once they are done with their thing or one moves up. Let’s see,”

Barboza looks to become the City of South El Monte’s second world champion following the footsteps of his stablemate IBF super featherweight champion Joseph Diaz Jr. Other notable talents included prospects Saul Bustos, and Victor Pasillas. Saturday night Barboza looks to make a statement.

“There is a lot of talent here. We grew up fighting here in this gym. There is so much talent here. I’m just happy to represent and proud every time I step in the ring,” Barboza said. “Stay tuned it’s going to be a great fight. I’m looking to step up and follow my dream,”

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