Arnold Barboza Jr kept his “0” and Danielito Zorrilla’s had to go, with Barboza winning a clear unanimous decision tonight in Temecula, Calif., though not without some late scares.
Barboza (27-0, 10 KO) took the win on scores of 97-93, 97-93, and 98-92, all good scores. Bad Left Hook’s unofficial card was 98-92 for Barboza, as well.
But he did eat some heavy shots from Zorrilla (16-1, 12 KO) in the 10th and final round, and had to push through a last-ditch effort from the Puerto Rican, who had largely been out-boxed and out-classed over the course of the fight, with Barboza simply proving the more well-rounded and better fighter.
Barboza also proved he’s for sure got a chin, because Zorrilla can punch and he landed some good rights, not just in the final round but a bit early in the fight, too.
“I was a little rusty, it’s been a while. I’m not gonna be inactive like that no more, I’m going to be fighting constantly,” Barboza said in his post-fight interview.
“It’s hard (fighting at home) with the crowd, we sold it out, but trying to relax, man, it’s hard. We ended up exchanging more than we wanted to,” he added, saying he’ll be back in the gym in a week.
Barboza appeared to suffer a hand injury in the sixth round, but said it was just “a little swollen, but that’s what happens when you’re hitting someone in the head.”
As for his short-term, Barboza said his main goal is a title shot. “My manager knows if we can’t get a title shot, then we want Teofimo Lopez. It’s either a title shot or him. Let’s see what happens, see if he wants to do it.”
Lopez (16-1, 12 KO) is set to make his 140 lb debut on Aug. 13, facing Pedro Campa in what is expected to be a pretty easy win, and a fight with Barboza after that would make sense, both in terms of the opponent and the timing.
Barboza vs Zorrilla highlights
Undercard highlights and results
- Raymond Muratalla UD-8 Jair Valtierra: A good showing and a useful fight for Muratalla (15-0, 12 KO), who went eight rounds for the first time and saw his stoppage streak end at nine fights. The 25-year-old lightweight is being touted as “the next” out of Robert Garcia’s gym, and the TV hype is using Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez as the example there, but we’ll see. He’s a good fighter, and Valtierra (16-2, 8 KO) gave him solid rounds without ever actually being a threat. Valtierra did go down in the fourth and Muratalla probably could have pressed harder for a stoppage, but he followed the instructions from his corner and wound up going the distance. I think Robert Garcia may have been looking to get him those rounds, as I certainly don’t think it was any real fear of anything big coming back.
- Richard Torrez Jr TKO-1 Roberto Zavala Jr: A waste of time. Referee Eddie Hernandez Sr stopped this in 58 seconds, and listen, my point here is not that he wasn’t just doing what was inevitable. Torrez (2-0, 2 KO) is a real deal prospect, an Olympic silver medalist. Zavala (2-2-1, 2 KO) didn’t stack up to do any better than this on paper. He’s a 34-year-old husky gentleman with a few nothing fights on his record in Texas. If we all agree Torrez is so far beyond this level — and he is — then what was ever the point of this? It didn’t impress the live audience, who booed. There are plenty of 27- to 40-year-old American heavyweights Torrez would also smash, but the referee might not be so terrified of it that he stops it in 58 seconds.
- Austin Brooks UD-4 Victor Saravia: Club-level time-filler, but decent entertainment and a chance to take a look at Brooks, who is 26 and now 7-0 (2 KO). The age and what he showed here make it seem a low ceiling, and Saravia (1-3, 1 KO) is 28 and, well, has that record. Decent prospect tester, though. Not sold on Brooks, but he’ll get more chances.
- Stephan Shaw TKO-1 Bernardo Marquez: Andre Ward got very excited about Shaw (17-0, 13 KO) here, but it wasn’t much of a matchup for a guy who’s 29. That’s not old for a heavyweight, but Shaw really needs to step up if he wants to be taken seriously in the next year or so. Ward’s excitement mostly stemmed from the fact that Shaw was “more impressive” here than he was against Joey Dawejko on ESPN airwaves in January, but I think that’s mainly because Dawejko is a much tougher opponent than Marquez, much better at grinding and going rounds. There’s still a lot for Shaw to prove, but yes, he clearly has some talent.
- Floyd Diaz TKO-3 Pedro Salome: Diaz goes to 6-0 (2 KO) with a solid stoppage of Salome (3-1-1, 1 KO), who may have come in with an “0” but was clearly nowhere near Diaz’s level. I like Floyd Diaz; he’s 19, he’s got more power, I think, than the KO percentage suggests, he’s aggressive, and he’s got some real confidence, bordering on arrogance perhaps. There’s a chance that he’s a 118/122 version of Gabriel Flores Jr, a prospect with talent who hits a wall, but he’s someone who might be more than that, too. He’s a guy you give a chance even if it’s not a mega investment with him.
- Adrian Yung D-6 Jorge Marron Jr: A fight where it was generally agreed no one deserved to win, since nobody really did anything. Yung (28-7-3, 22 KO) won one card on a 59-55 score, but the other two came back 57-57 for the majority draw. Yung and Marron (20-3-2, 7 KO) are 29 and 28, respectively, have no genuine future in boxing, aren’t contenders — it was an irrelevant card-filler fight and for entertainment purposes, they put in exactly the level of effort the crowd of double digits in the building called for, honestly. Both of them will be back again, surely, and you probably won’t see it, and you probably didn’t watch this one.