For Arnold Barboza, two-time world champion José “Sniper” Pedraza represents the next step to landing a title fight at 140 pounds.
His intentions are to eliminate the Puerto Rican fighter from the road when they meet on February 3 during the card that Top Rank will present at the Desert Diamond Arena in Tucson, Arizona.
As BoxingScene.com previously reported, Barboza (27-0, 10 KO) acknowledged that he has admiration and respect for Pedraza's career, but insisted that he will take advantage of the opportunity to approach a future date to dispute a world title at 140 pounds.
"It will be the most complicated fight of my career because Pedraza has the experience and he likes to switch to a left-handed position, but I understand that my time has come and we will give the fans a good show," Barboza said to Carlos Gonzalez.
Barboza, 31, is coming off a big win over another Puerto Rican fighter, Danielito Zorrilla, from last July, to win the Intercontinental belt of the World Boxing Organization (WBO).
“I learned a lot from that fight. Zorrilla is a boxer with power in his hands, but I was able to do what was necessary to take the victory. Now I'm focused on Pedraza, who I can't overlook because he still has it. He is not a finished boxer, he prepares well for the fights and I have no doubt that we will give the fans a show," said Barboza.
Pedraza was in line to fight Teófimo López last December. However, the Puerto Rican canceled his participation in the event because he contracted the flu and was unable to train for several weeks.
“Pedraza also has a lot of motivation to win this fight. I am convinced that he will be a difficult opponent because of his style and he moves a lot in the ring, but I am preparing to have the fight of my life," Barboza said.