Arnold Barboza Jr vs. Liam Paro ordered by WBO in 140-lb title eliminator

By Boxing News - 04/12/2023 - Comments

By Sam Volz: The WBO has ordered unbeaten #2 Arnold Barboza Jr and #3 Liam Paro to begin negotiations for a 140-lb title eliminator to decide the mandatory challenger for the winner of the June 10th fight between champion Josh Taylor and challenger Teofimo Lopez.

Barboza Jr vs. Paro should be an exciting fight for as long as it lasts. The 26-year-old southpaw Paro (23-0, 14 KOs) looked impressive recently, stopping fellow Aussie Brock Jarvis in the first round last October.

If Barboza or Paro chooses not to participate, the WBO will move down the top 10 rankings and offer the fight to #4 Jose Ramirez. I don’t see why the 31-year-old Barboza or Paro would elect not to take part in the WBO 140-lb title eliminator either one of them would give Taylor or Teofimo problems.

Jarvis, a big puncher with a similar fighting style as former lightweight champion Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini, was mowed down by Paro, who landed repeated lead left hands to the head to get the knockout.

The way that Paro looked against Jarvis, he’s going to be a handful against Barboza. In Barboza’s last fight, he started fast against Jose Pedraza and looked like a world-beater in the first six rounds, but then he completely ran out of gas in the last four rounds and barely edged it by a narrow 10-round unanimous decision.

Suffice it to say that if Barboza gasses out against Paro, he will get knocked out because this guy has more power than Pedraza, and he’ll do damage with his straight left hands.

Given Teofimo’s lack of interest in facing Barboza (28-0, 10 KOs) in the past, he may quickly vacate the WBO 140-lb title if he defeats.

Barboza has a lot of talent, but he’s not a huge puncher, and as we saw in his fight against Pedraza, he has serious stamina issues that could surface against Paro. This is not the guy that Barboza can afford to gas out against because Paro is exceptionally accurate with his left hand, and he’ll finish the job.

Top Rank is hoping Barboza Jr will win because they promote him. If Barboza wins, they’d have a nice in-house fight with him fighting the Taylor vs. Teofimo winner.

Again, if Teofimo comes out the victor against Taylor, it’s 50-50 if he’ll hold onto the WBO belt if Barboza is his mandatory. Teofimo likely sees something in Barboza’s fighting style that makes him want nothing to do with the guy.

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