Arnold Barboza Jr. is pleased with the end result to an otherwise forgettable 2023 campaign.

The unbeaten junior welterweight contender is confident that he is exactly where he belongs as part of the Golden Boy Promotions family. The Oscar De La Hoya-headed outfit is based out of his Los Angeles hometown, one of several factors that made it a no-brainer to sign with them in November.

“It’s the best decision I think I made. Basically, Oscar runs L.A. I’m an L.A. kid,” Barboza said of the move. “I think the world wants to see more of me.

“The last year or two has been up and down. I needed a promoter who is going to be behind me all the way.”

Barboza (28-0, 10KOs) has not fought since a ten-round, unanimous decision victory over former two-division titlist Jose Pedraza last February 3 in Glendale, Arizona.

The bout was his last under his previous promotional contract with Top Rank, from whom he secured his release in July. The move came months after he was pulled from an ordered IBF title eliminator versus Australia’s Liam Paro, which would have landed on a Matchroom Boxing card. Barboza also abandoned talks for a separate title eliminator versus Jose Ramirez; both are managed by Rick Mirigian.

Barboza reached a point where he no longer felt like a priority, a feeling that went away once he met with the Golden Boy team. He will make his debut under the banner as part of a January 6 DAZN show in Las Vegas headlined by the return of Mirigian-managed knockout artist Vergil Ortiz Jr. (19-0, 19KOs).

“I see big things (in 2024),” noted Barboza. “I want a world title shot all the way.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox