It’s not the Teofimo Lopez tussle we were teased, but Arnold Barboza Jr.’s next fight looks like a good one. Top Rank revealed today that he’ll face fellow unbeaten Danielito Zorrilla atop a July 15th ESPN tripleheader in Temecula.
After a 2020 campaign that saw him battle his way past Alex Saucedo in a quality scrap, Barboza (26-0, 10 KO) managed just one 2021 appearance, a near-shutout of Antonio Moran on August’s Franco-Moloney 3 undercard. He’s clearly got the goods, and now’s the time for some major tests.
Puerto Rico’s Zorrilla (16-0, 12 KO) survived a tough out last March against Ruslan Madiyev, which ended due to rabbit punches in the eighth. There were some concerns about the 28-year-old’s health afterwards, but he put them to rest by torching Pablo Cesar Cano in two.
This is a really solid graduation bout, and the winner’s likely to make a swift march into contention.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. This fight will put the other fighters at 140 pounds on notice. We’re going to take full advantage of it,” Barboza said. “Zorrilla is undefeated, ranked, and coming off a great win. We’re going to make a statement on July 15. I want a world title shot soon, and I’m going to keep pushing forward and fighting whoever they put in front of me.”
“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity, and I want to thank Miguel Cotto Promotions and Top Rank,” Zorrilla said. “We have been waiting for an opportunity of this magnitude. Arnold Barboza Jr. is a quality opponent, and I’ve always wanted an at-bat against a top contender. I am working very hard, and I will be at 100 percent on July 15 to continue my journey to a junior welterweight world championship.”
The rest of the three-fight main card features Tokyo Olympic silver medalists Keyshawn Davis (5-0, 4 KO) and Richard Torrez Jr. (1-0, 1 KO). Davis meets Jair Valtierra (16-1, 8 KO), a 20-year-old Mexican two fights removed from a knockout loss, while Torrez takes on Roberto Zavala Jr. (2-1-1, 2 KO).
“Every time I fight, I try to give the fans something to remember, and I’m excited to make my Southern California debut. I will put on a show for everyone watching on ESPN, that much I can guarantee,” Davis said. “We know Valtierra is coming to fight, and I’ll be ready to match whatever he brings.”
Torrez said, “Ever since that cut in my pro debut, I’ve been counting down the days until my next fight. I’m thankful to be fighting on ESPN and back in my home state. If you don’t know why you should watch me, you will soon.”
Raymond Muratalla (14-0, 12 KO), Stephan Shaw (16-0, 12 KO), and Floyd Diaz (4-0, 1 KO) will be in action on the undercard.