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Arnold Barboza Jr. will face Tony Luis in Ramirez-Postol co-feature

Arnold Barboza Jr. Photo by Mikey Williams / Top Rank
Fighters Network

Unbeaten junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza, Jr. will face Tony Luis on August 29, Top Rank announced Thursday afternoon.

The 10-round bout will take place at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and will precede the main event bout between WBC/ WBO unified junior welterweight titleholder Jose Ramirez and Viktor Postol.

Both fights will stream live on ESPN+ (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).

Barboza (23-0, 10 knockouts), who resides in the Los Angeles suburb of South El Monte, last fought on November 30, knocking out fringe contender William Silva in round 5. Barboza has shown more aggression and power in recent fights, stopping four of his last five opponents, including a vicious knockout win over former world title challenger Mike Alvarado on April 12 of last year.

The 28-year-old is hoping to contend for a world title belt, but is not overlooking Luis.

“Tony Luis is as tough as they come,” said Barboza, who is ranked No. 8 by The Ring at 140 pounds. “He won’t lay down for me. He sees this as a big opportunity, and I can’t let him take it.”

Luis (29-3, 10 KOs) has not fought since defeating Ricardo Lara by unanimous decision on October 19 in Peterborough, not far from his hometown of Cornwall, Canada. In his previous fight on June 21 of last year, Luis defeated former contender Adrian Estrella by majority decision.

The 32-year-old has won his 10 bouts since losing a close unanimous decision to then-lightweight contender Derry Mathews in April 2015. 

Despite dealing with the uncertainty of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Luis is grateful for the opportunity of fighting on a significant platform like ESPN. 

“I’m proud of myself for not giving up throughout all the uncertainty over the past several months,” said Luis, who is promoted by Liveco Boxing.

“I knew this pandemic would be a test of character, and I forced myself to stay dedicated, knowing that if an opportunity arose, I’d be ready to strike. I have not lost in over five years, I’m in the best shape in my life, and I feel that Arnold Barboza Jr. is the perfect opponent to showcase my skills and take my career to the next level. Everyone dreams of fighting in Las Vegas. On August 29, my dream will come true, and I plan to make the most of this opportunity. For a small-town kid, we proved a lot of people wrong.”