Arnold Barboza Jr kept his undefeated record and world title shot hopes intact with a fifth round knockout win over William Silva on the Top Rank prelims tonight in Las Vegas.
Barboza (23-0, 10 KO) dropped Silva (27-3, 15 KO) in the third round on a left hook to the head, but the finish came late in the fifth, when he crumpled the Brazilian with a body shot. Silva had a delayed reaction, but once he was down, he was down and in considerable pain, with the referee reaching the full count of 10.
Barboza, 27, is hoping for an eventual shot at Jose Ramirez, who holds the WBC and WBO junior welterweight titles, but that may have to wait a bit. Ramirez is slated to deal with WBC mandatory Viktor Postol in February in China, but if he gets through that he’ll have to either fight WBO mandatory Jack Catterall or give up that belt. There’s also the chance that Ramirez will move to 147 after Postol, or at least at some point in 2020.
So Barboza will have to tread water to some degree until then, if his goal is really Ramirez, but he’s holding up his end so far as hanging around and not losing goes, even if he’s yet to actually face a contender.
Xander Zayas TKO-2 Virgel Windfield
Zayas is a 17-year-old high school senior and a serious prospect at 147. Originally from Puerto Rico and now living in Florida, Zayas (2-0, 2 KO) has finished both of his first two pro opponents in the first round. He dropped Windfield (2-3-1, 2 KO) twice and ended it in less than two minutes.
Larry Gomez SD-8 Brian Mendoza
Huge win for Salt Lake City’s Gomez (10-1, 8 KO), in a really good fight, where he upsets prospect Brian Mendoza (18-1, 13 KO). Mendoza, from New Mexico, signed with Top Rank earlier this year with some hope of breaking through at 147, and he marched through his first two opponents in May and August, but he just came up against a tough, determined guy here, one who didn’t fold after a few good shots.
Scores were 77-75 twice for Gomez, and the same once for Mendoza. BLH also had it 77-75 for Gomez, and he deserved it. Mendoza, 25, will be back to the drawing board, but he’s young enough to rebound. The 26-year-old Gomez, who lost a six-round split decision to Kevin Johnson in April, is probably not headed for world title glory, but he’s a scrappy fighter who isn’t intimidated by the opposition. And that loss to Johnson isn’t the huge problem it might seem on paper; Johnson just gave Richardson Hitchins a decent test and did the same against Fazliddin Gaibnazarov in 2018.
Guido Vianello KO-1 Colby Madison
Vianello (6-0, 6 KO) is a 25-year-old Italian heavyweight prospect that Top Rank clearly like — they’re taking it slow and safe with him, letting him develop, but he’s looked very good so far. Madison (8-2-2, 5 KO) is a 36-year-old from Maryland and he was done after the first right hand landed. He may have been able to get up, but why? Fight was over in 44 seconds. If you’re a fan of the heavyweights, Vianello is someone to have on your radar for the future.
Andy Hiraoka TKO-2 Rogelio Casarez
Hiraoka (15-0, 10 KO) was making his US debut here, a 23-year-old junior welterweight southpaw from Yokohama, and he made quick work of Casarez (13-9, 5 KO), a 29-year-old journeyman from Arkansas who has now lost four straight.