Arnold Barboza faces Antonio Moran on August 14 in Oklahoma
Junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza will face Antonio Moran on August 14, Top Rank announced Friday afternoon.
The 10-round bout will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma and will precede the main event bout between junior bantamweights Joshua Franco, who holds the WBA ‘Regular’ title, and Andrew Moloney III.
Both bouts, including the pro debut of Nico Ali Walsh, the grandson of Muhammad Ali, will air live on ESPN (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).
Barboza (25-0, 10 knockouts), who is ranked No. 5 by The Ring and resides in the Los Angeles suburb of South El Monte, overcame a knockdown at the hands of Alex Saucedo in his last bout on October to win by unanimous decision. In his previous bout on August 29, Barboza defeated Tony Luis over 10 one-sided rounds.
The 29-year-old has been in position to face any of the other top fighters at 140 pounds, including Ring Magazine champion Josh Taylor or former unified titleholder Jose Ramirez. He hopes to make a statement against Moran and land a fight against Taylor.
“I’ve been in the gym since the Saucedo fight, and I’m looking forward to this one,” said Barboza, who is managed by Rick Mirigian. “(Moran) is a tough, experienced fighter, and we’re looking to put on a good show. I don’t pay too much attention to the rankings. I always train like it’s a world title fight, and I expect Moran to give a great effort.”
Moran (26-4-1, 19 KOs), who resides in Mexico City, last fought on October 16, stopping hard-hitting Emanuel Colon in round 6. He is unbeaten in his last three fights since losing by knockout to Devin Haney in May 2019.
The 28-year-old has been a staple of ‘Boxeo Telemundo’ telecasts over the last couple of years, including a draw against unbeaten Yomar Alamo in October 2019.
In preliminary action, which will stream live on ESPN+, bantamweight Jason Moloney, the twin brother of Andrew, will face Joshua Greer in a 10-round crossroads bout.
Moloney (21-2, 18 KOs), who resides in Kingscliff, Australia, challenged Ring Magazine bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue on October 31, losing by knockout in round 7. Moloney had won his previous four bouts since losing to then-IBF titleholder Emmanuel Rodriguez in October 2018.
Greer (22-2-2, 12 KOs) fought to a majority-decision draw against Edwin Rodriguez in his last bout on November 14. The draw took place almost five months after the Chicago, Illinois lost by majority-decision to Mike Plania.
Also on the card will be the return of lightweight prospect Karlos Balderas (9-1, 8 KOs), who recently signed a promotional deal with Top Rank. Heavyweights Trey Lippe (17-0, 17 KOs), the son of former world heavyweight titleholder Tommy Morrison, and Jeremiah Milton (3-0, 3 KOs) will also see action in separate bouts.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing