Undefeated super lightweight Arnold Barboza Jr. will take on Mike Alvarado Friday, April 12 at Staples Center as part of the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Anthony Crolla undercard. The entire card will start at 8 p.m. EST and will air on ESPN+ as a one year anniversary of the streaming service.
“I am excited for this opportunity. We know it’s a dangerous fight and that Alvarado possesses power in both hands, but we are going to be ready for whatever he brings,” Barboza said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve fought at home, but I am ecstatic to fight here at Staples Center. It’s a dream come true. We are also excited to fight a former world champion like Mike, and we know he is going to be at his best.”
.@jrBarbozaArnold and @MileHighMike303 headline a stacked undercard that features the Top Rank debut of @BoxerVijender and heavyweight must-see @Vianello_Guido ?#LomaCrolla
April 12 | Staples Center | ?: @ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/pG3OpZkUbe
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) March 18, 2019
“Fighting on this card is an honor, and come April 12, the world is in for an exciting show,” Alvarado said. “I’m taking full advantage of this opportunity to bring me one step closer to securing my legacy as a champion.”
Barboza (20-0, 7 KOs), ranked No 3 by the WBO at 140 pounds, turned pro following a 95-fight amateur career and a stint as a fullback/linebacker at South El Monte High School. He went 3-0 in 2018, including a hard-fought 10-round decision over Mike Reed (23-1 at the time). In Alvarado (40-4, 28 KOs), he is facing a modern-day action hero who has thrilled boxing fans with his willingness to go toe-to-toe. He was one half of the 2012 Fight of the Year versus Brandon Rios, won by Rios via seventh-round TKO. Alvarado scored a unanimous decision in the immediate rematch but proceeded to lose three in a row versus Ruslan Provodnikov, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Rios in the rubber match.
The rest of the undercard slated is:
Top welterweight contender Alexander Besputin (12-0, 9 KOs) will defend his USBA title against Alfredo Blanco (20-7, 11 KOs) in a 10-rounder. Besputin is currently ranked No. 1 by the WBA.
Janibek Alimkhanuly (5-0, 2 KOs), a former amateur standout from Kazakhstan, will face the rugged Cristian Olivas (16-4, 13 KOs) in a 10-rounder for the vacant WBO Global and WBC Continental Americas middleweight belts. Two of Olivas’ four losses have come via split decision, and he has never been knocked out as a pro.
Super middleweight contender and three-time Indian Olympian Vijender Singh (10-0, 7 KOs) will make his United States debut against Calvin Metcalf (9-1-1, 2 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Singh captured a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics, becoming the first Indian boxer to claim an Olympic medal.
Italian heavyweight Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (2-0, 2 KOs), who represented his homeland at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will fight Lawrence Gabriel (3-1-1, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder.
Los Angeles native Chris “The Boy” Zavala (3-0, 2 KOs) will face Sergio Gonzales (2-2, 1 KO) in a four-rounder at super featherweight.
Dominican-born bantamweight prospect Elvis Rodriguez (1-0, 1 KO) will take on Kevin Luna (1-2, 1 KO) in a four-round bout.