The WBO recently ordered a super lightweight final eliminator between Arnold Barboza Jr and Liam Paro, the winner of which would become Regis Prograis’ inaugural mandatory challenger. Barboza ultimately withdrew from consideration after Matchroom won the purse bid, and shortly after the WBO instead ordered Paro to face Jose Ramirez, news broke that Paro would instead jump straight into a fight with Prograis on June 17th.
Now, Eddie Hearn tells iFL TV that Paro is out due to injury and, though nothing’s official, Barboza could step in to save the date.
There’s a solid argument to be made that this is a better fight. Barboza (28-0, 10 KO) is coming off of two solid wins over Danielito Zorrilla and Jose Pedraza and has seemingly been on the cusp of a major opportunity for ages. He can’t punch, but he can box and he can scrap, so he should at the very least make for an entertaining battle with Prograis (28-1, 24 KO) if Matchroom and Top Rank can hash things out.
Hopefully the folks at Matchroom successfully get this over the finish line so they can get back to negotiating with Subriel Matias. I need Prograis vs Matias in my life.